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She Was One of Us by Brigid O’Farrell

She Was One of Us, by Brigid O'Farrell

Although born to a life of privilege and married to the President of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt was a staunch and lifelong advocate for workers and a proud member of the AFL-CIO’s Newspaper Guild for more than twenty-five years. She Was One of Us tells for the first time the story of her deep and lasting ties to the American labor movement. Today, union membership has declined to levels not seen since the Great Depression, and the silencing of American workers has contributed to rising inequality. In She Was One of Us, Eleanor Roosevelt’s voice can once again be heard by those still working for social justice and human rights.

New Workshop Guide: “Why Women Should Join Unions, Organizing and Leading with Eleanor Roosevelt”

A new Workshop Guide engages women workers in using the inspiring words and rich historical record of Eleanor Roosevelt and her union women allies to organize and lead today. With funding from the Berger-Marks Foundation O’Farrell travelled to ten union women’s conferences and schools to develop a flexible guide, with handouts, optional small group discussions, a brief biography, and a slide presentation. Funding for social media links was provided by the 21st Century ILGWU Heritage Fund. For more information see the Workshop Guide.

Selected Reviews

Library Journal, “Highly recommended for all readers interested in unions, workers, human rights, and Eleanor Roosevelt.”

Choice, “A fine account of Eleanor Roosevelt’s evolving philosophy and activism on behalf of organized labor…Highly recommended.”

John Thomas McGuire, The Journal of American History, September 2011.”She demonstrates how Roosevelt used her ‘My Day’ columns and articles to support labor, particularly in opposing the Taft-Hartley Act and right-to-work laws.”  (www.journalofamericanhistory.org/issues/982/)

Priscilla Murolo, Women’s Review of Books, Fall 2011. “With regard to originality, however, Brigid O’Farrell’s She Was One of Us stands head and shoulders above the others.

Kenneth Burt, California Federation of Teachers, June 29, 2011. “This well-researched and clearly written book…fills an important gap in the literature — Mrs. Roosevelt’s relationship with the labor movement, which was extensive but little written about…Farm labor was one of Roosevelt’s long time interests.”

Kim Warren, Historian, University of Kansas, April, 2011. “A fantastic book for college students to read because it takes them through the life of one of the most influential women in mid-twentieth-century politics…Having Brigid O’Farrell visit our class through video Skype was an added treat.”

Stu Levitan, Books and Beats, Madison’s Progressive Talk Radio, 92.1, March 27, 2011. “An important and powerful book about one of the greatest friends labor has ever had. An in-depth conversation about ER, FDR, Walter Reuther, John L. Lewis, et al. (Are you listening, Governor?)”.   Podcast link.

The Denver Post, Local Best SellersShe Was One of Us in the top 10, January 17, 2011.

Pete Seeger, “This is an inspiring book and should be read by women of all ages and of all stations in life. (Men: You can learn from it too!)”

Read more reviews here.

We can’t just talk.  We have got to act. CIO Convention Speech, 1944