Author Kirstin Downey to Speak at Exhibit on Frances Perkins

The Friends of the Columbia Libraries will sponsor a talk by award-winning journalist and author Kirstin Downey, who will discuss her new book, The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday).

Frances Perkins (1880-1965) is no longer a household name, yet she was one of the most influential women of the twentieth century. Government official for New York State and the federal government, including Industrial Commissioner of the State of New York from1929-1932 , Perkins was named Secretary of Labor by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933. As FDR’s friend and ally, Perkins would help the president fight the economic ravages caused by the Great Depression and make great strides toward improving workplace conditions.

A reception and viewing of the exhibition, “Frances Perkins: The Woman Behind the New Deal” will follow in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The exhibition will feature correspondence, manuscripts, notes, drafts of speeches, photographs, and memorabilia from RBML’s extensive collection of Frances Perkins’ papers. It will run through February 26, 2010.

Thursday, November 5, 2009
6:00 p.m.
Butler Library, Room 523