Harriet Fleisher Berger was a trailblazer. She was a curious thinker and a practitioner of feminism before the term became familiar in the field of political science. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1938, married, and raised two sons. After graduation, she became a researcher at the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. This was a pathway for young women at that time since many of the traditional academic pathways were often limited for women. In addition to her research at the ILGWU, she also helped start the first union medical clinic in Philadelphia. Her family came from an aristocratic-type family, who owned a garment manufacturing business in Philadelphia which provided them with a comfortable standard of life. Throughout her life Dr. Berger, in addition to her teaching, actively worked as an anti-colonialist, a liberal, an environmentalist, a conservationist, a labor organizer, and a New Deal Democrat.
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