Frances Perkins Biography a Finalist for LA Times Book Prize

Kirstin Downey’s riveting biography of Frances Perkins has been named a finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize! Titled The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience, the book traces the life of the first female cabinet secretary, one of the most influential women of the twentieth century whose ideas became the cornerstones of the most important social welfare and legislation in the nation’s history, including unemployment compensation, child labor laws, and the forty-hour work week.

Jon Meacham, bestselling author of American Lion, raved, “Kirstin Downey has given us a rich, nuanced portrait of one of the most significant figures of the Age of Roosevelt. Frances Perkins has fallen out of the popular imagination; this fine book should do much to rectify that, and bring the first female member of a president’s Cabinet to vivid life once more.”

The prizes will be awarded Friday evening at 8 pm, April 23, 2010, in a ceremony at the Los Angeles Times building. Congratulations, Kirstin!