New Biography by Suzanne Hertzberg Illuminates Roosevelt Era Woman Photographer’s Career

Katherine Joseph’s photographs offer us an insightful glimpse into a moment in history and allow historians a better understanding of the role of women working in America before and during World War II. —Brent D. Glass, Director (Emeritus)   National Museum of American History
Suzanne Hertzberg’s biography of her mother, Katherine Joseph: Photographing an Era of Social Significance (Bergamot, 2016) is the remarkable story of a woman who captured the golden age of organized labor with her camera. The biography is presented within a richly textured and meticulously documented historical context, and draws upon source material from Cornell University’s Kheel Center for Labor Management Documentation and Archives, the National Records and Archives Administration, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Joseph’s own memorabilia, and personal interviews. Ms. Joseph’s compelling photographic pursuits add a new dimension to immigrant women’s experience in America and also preserve a legacy of historical, artistic, and feminist significance for scholars and general readers alike.
This is more than a daughter’s poignant remembrance of her mother, a rebel girl of the ‘30s, it’s the story of immigrants’ kids surviving the Great Depression and finding triumph in rank and file labor unions. The heroine was a photographer who caught few glamour figures; hers was in the tradition of Lewis Hine and Dorothea Lange.
—Studs Terkel, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and oral historian 
Katherine Joseph had one remarkable tale to tell: emancipated woman in the era just after the Jazz Age; professional photographer; Union Maid; political progressive. But she led her quiet life and tended to her family, secretive until her death. Then some old and shocking photos stirred her daughter's curiosity and Suzanne Hertzberg began digging into her mother's proud past and came up with this fascinating story.
—Don Rose, independent political consultant, Chicago Daily Observer columnist
Hertzberg’s book is one of those rare gems, combining a daughter’s discovery of her mother’s past and hidden talent with gracefully communicated nuggets of history spanning two countries and cultures—Mexico and the United States—during the FDR years.
—Gail Dickerson, author
The book is available at Amazon and To schedule a speaking engagement by the author, contact Suzanne Hertzberg:

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