In Print

Released March 2012 – Now available in paperback and e-book!

A Matter of Simple Justice
The Untold Story of Barbara Hackman Franklin
and A Few Good Women
By Lee Stout
Afterword by Barbara Hackman Franklin

In August 1972, Newsweek proclaimed that “the person in Washington who has done the most for the women’s movement may be Richard Nixon.” Today opinions of the Nixon Administration are strongly colored by foreign policy successes and the Watergate debacle while its accomplishments in advancing the role of women in government have been overlooked. A Matter of Simple Justice shines light on the administration’s groundbreaking efforts to expand the role of women and the long-term effects for women in the American workplace.

The book focuses on Barbara Hackman Franklin, a Staff Assistant to the President who was hired to recruit more women into the upper levels of the federal government. Franklin, at the direction of President Nixon, White House Counselor Robert Finch, and personnel director Fred Malek, helped to bring more than one hundred women into executive positions in the government—almost four times more than in any previous administration.

In the second part of the book, archivist and historian Lee Stout highlights the personal stories of other women who were swimming against the tide to achieve equality. Based on the “A Few Good Women” oral history project at Penn State University Libraries, the book features excerpts from interviews with prominent women and men who describe their experiences during “The Gender Revolution.” Interviewees share fascinating details about early influences, breaking down barriers, the impact on family, the role of networking, and the particular challenge of gaining entry to the legal profession.

Although largely unknown or forgotten today, the story of Barbara Franklin and a few good women shaped the opportunities available to women for generations to come.

Lee Stout is Librarian Emeritus at the Penn State University Libraries. He served as University Archivist for 28 years and retired in 2009. Stout is past-president of the Society of American Archivists and served on the U.S. National Historical Publications and Records Commission.


Published by Penn State University Libraries
24.95 | cloth | 200 page | 7 x 10 | 98 illustrations
Cloth ISBN 978-0-9839478-0-6 | eISBN 978-0-9839478-1-3

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