Anna Lederer Rosenberg. Born in Budapest in 1899, she emigrated to New York City with her mother and sister in 1912, following her father who had gone ahead of them in 1910. As the Lederer family began to make their place in New York, Anna’s father worked hard to instill in his children an appreciation of the freedoms and opportunities that they were afforded in the United States.
In high school, Anna founded the “Coming Voters League” to spotlight the fight for women’s right to vote, little did she know that this was the beginning of what would become her career in politics and human resources. She was on her way to becoming the broker of labor disputes, the advisor of presidents, and the architect of the beginning of civil rights. Involved in key points of history from FDR’s New Deal to the Korean War, she worked in The White House and the Pentagon in positions ranging from advisor to Assistant Secretary of the Armed Forces. Her ideas and ability to turn them into reality resulted in successes such as the GI Bill and the desegregation of the armed forces. She was FDR’s envoy to the front lines in WWII and did the same for Eisenhower during the Korean War. Her career and influence spanned decades and yet we don’t read about her in our history books.
This is a must-read for everyone. Christopher Gorham has written a book that is a fascinating look at the years between The Great Depression and The Cold War, and one woman who had a huge impact on all of it. A woman whose name we should all know.
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