Saturday, November 08, 2014

Robyn Muncy's "Relentless Reformer," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie:  Relentless Reformer: Josephine Roche and Progressivism in Twentieth-Century America by Robyn Muncy.

Her entry begins:
The central character in Relentless Reformer is the indomitable Josephine Roche, a progressive reformer who achieved political celebrity in the 1930s as a pro-labor and feminist member of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal government.

To play the adult Josephine Roche, I would cast Meryl Streep. Streep has the range and vitality to play this bronco-busting westerner who castigated anyone with no “guts” and at the same time charmed the Washington press corps with her easy grace.

Roche’s dramatic life would give Streep’s versatility full expression. Roche was in 1912 Denver’s first policewoman; in the 1920s, she took over and ran a coal mining company; in the 1930s, she served as the second-highest-ranking woman in the New Deal government; and, as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, she started the conversation Americans are still having about the federal role in health care. She shaped the Social Security Act in 1935 and eventually pioneered managed care in medicine. She remained an activist into the 1970s, when she was, in her 80s, trying to bring down a murderous regime within the United Mine Workers of America, a labor union she had allied with for over 40 years.

Since Roche was active in public life from her teens into her old age, we might need additional actors for earlier moments of Roche’s life. Jennifer...[read on]
Learn more about Relentless Reformer at the Princeton University Press website.

My Book, The Movie:  Relentless Reformer.

--Marshal Zeringue