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Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite
Frances Perkins: Champion of American Workers by Ruth Cashin Monsell is the biography of a woman who holds a solid place in history—the first female presidential cabinet member in the United States. Perkins served as the Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945. She was known to stand up for American workers, enacting many life-saving measures, along with those that improved quality of life, such as a shorter work week. Beyond her work in implementing safety and lifestyle improvements, Perkins was instrumental in the creation of Social Security, as well as other programs, such as the Civilian Conservation Corps. Monsell’s book is a complete biography, covering all aspects of Perkins' life. The book ends with “The Wit and Wisdom of Frances Perkins,” followed by an extensive bibliography and a list of places that were important in Perkins’ life that readers may want to visit.
Frances Perkins by Ruth Cashin Monsell is an absolutely fascinating book about the life of a little-known American woman. I didn’t know much about Perkins, only knowing her name, before I began reading this book. But I was hooked from the first page and the more I read the more I became enthralled with this biography of an exceptional woman. Monsell is a fine writer and wrote with enthusiasm about Perkins. Because of reading this book, I came to a better appreciation of Perkins, as well as Monsell for writing it. Everyone should read this exceptional, well-researched book. Readers will come away inspired by Perkins’ life and grateful for all she accomplished on behalf of her fellow Americans. I highly recommend it.