The Woman Behind The New Deal

Kirstin Downey BookKirstin Downey’s seminal biography of Frances Perkins

“The New Deal was a big deal for America — and, as Kirstin Downey shows in this illuminating and sparkling book, Frances Perkins, my predecessor as Labor Secretary, was the moving force behind much of it. Her legacy included Social Security, unemployment insurance, and other initiatives that have improved the lives of generations of Americans. With wit and insight, Downey recounts the accomplishments of this singular woman and invites us to celebrate her life.”  —Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and former U.S. Secretary of Labor

Purchase from the Frances Perkins Center or your preferred book vendor.

To purchase from the Center:
Paperback: $18.00. Maine state sales tax and shipping: $6.00.  TOTAL: $24.00.

“Kirstin Downey gives Frances Perkins the biography she deserves, the story of a fierce advocate who put people first, a public servant who was actually worthy of the name, and a bracing reminder of what inspired government can do. Perkins ignored the glass ceiling and changed America. This book is a joy!” —Nick Taylor, author of American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA: When FDR Put the Nation to Work.

“For all of her apparent modesty and fierce sense of privacy, Frances Perkins wanted to be known by posterity for her contributions to FDR and his New Deal, particularly Social Security. An investigative reporter, Kirstin Downey has uncovered France Perkins’s extraordinary strengths in shaping and securing the central domestic accomplishments of the New Dealers. Despite continuing impediments, Perkins, a social worker, successfully broke into a man’s world and was a major player for all twelve years of FDR’s administration. Downey deftly links the Progressive movement of the early 1900s with the reforms Perkins helped FDR achieve, particularly in his first two terms. In Downey’s skilled hands, Frances Perkins at last emerges as a pivotal figure in the most transformative twelve years of twentieth century American history.” —Christopher N. Breiseth, FPC Board member and former President and CEO of The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.

To order:
Call: 207-563-3374.

Shining a light on Frances Perkins' legacyFinally getting her due