For Mother's Day I received The Woman Behind the New Deal by Kirstin Downey - the biography of Frances Perkins. Perkins was first woman ever to be named to a Cabinet post, and served as Franklin Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor for twelve years. She was the sponsor of many programs now taken for granted, i.e. unemployment compensation, the 8-hour day, child labor laws, even Social Security. Her story reminds us of that other recent time, when jobs and homes were lost, when banks and businesses failed; and how the government responded to these crises. This biography is a splendid gift of history.