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“You just can’t be afraid.”

What an intense time–I’m writing about the Civil War & I’m following the worldwide financial meltdown & I’m noting the ugly crowd reactions to inflammatory rhetoric by SP, J & CM. To keep focused and steady, I turn, as always, to the life lessons I’ve learned from historic women. For this situation, I’ve turned to Frances Perkins (1880-1965) secretary of labor during the Great Depression and World War II, and the architect of some of the most far-reaching and important reforms and social legislation ever enacted in America, including the establishment of Social Security. Here’s an excerpt from my biography of Frances Perkins (A Woman Unafraid: The Achievements of Frances Perkins): Several years before her death, Perkins had talked about the state of the world. ‘I hear people say that the world is in a crisis . . . . I think crisis has occurred in the world’s history many times, I’m glad to say that in those other crises we didn’t have radio, television, and the movies to run it up until everybody died of terror . . . . You can’t do any of those things we did in the early part of the century in you’re afraid . . . . You just can’t be afraid . . . if you’re going to accomplish anything.'” Although A Woman Unafraid is out of print, I have copies. If you’d like one, send me an email & I’ll send you an autographed book for the price of postage and handling.

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