All the President's Women: Barbara Hackman Franklin's Women Power in the Nixon White House 1971-1973
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In April 1971, President Richard M. Nixon appointed Barbara Hackman Franklin, the first ever White House women’s recruiter, as Staff Assistant to the President in the White House Personnel Office. Her recruiting efforts were unprecedented as Franklin secured the appointments of more women to full-time policy-making positions in the federal government than ever before. Despite these advancements, Franklin encountered a formidable environment of chauvinism which consistently thwarted her program. Regardless, an in-depth analysis of Franklin’s previously unstudied White House papers, housed at the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library, reveals her as a juggernaut for the burgeoning women’s movement. Furthermore, studying interactions between Franklin and her male colleagues, both cooperative and adversarial, exposes how she flexed political muscle outside of her immediate job description and, by increasing her own visibility in the White House, shaped new attitudes regarding women in government.