One of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's closest friends and the first female secretary of labor, Perkins capitalized on the president's political savvy and popularity to enact most of the programs that are considered essential parts of the country's social safety network. Arriving in Washington at the height of the Great Depression, Perkins pushed for massive public works projects that created millions of jobs for unemployed workers. She breathed life back into the nation's labor movement, boosting living standards across the country. As head of the Immigration Service, she fought to bring European refugees to safety in the United States. Her greatest triumph was creating Social Security. Written with a wit that echoes Frances Perkins's own, journalist Kirstin Downey gives readers an exploration of how and why Perkins slipped into historical oblivion, and restores Perkins to her proper place in history.