Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World's Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her

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Harper Collins, Mar 24, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
22 Reviews

The tragic and redeeming story of how one visionary woman built the biggest toy company in the world and created a global icon.

Barbie and Ruth is the entwined story of two exceptional women. There's Barbie: the diminutive yet arrestingly voluptuous doll unveiled at the 1959 Toy Fair who became the treasure of 90 percent of American girls and their counterparts in 150 countries. She went on to compete as an Olympic athlete, serve as an air force pilot, work as a boutique owner, run as a presidential candidate, and ignite a cultural firestorm.

And then there's Ruth Handler, Barbie's creator: the tenth child of Polish Jewish immigrants, a passionately competitive and creative business pioneer, and a mother and wife who wanted it all. After a business scandal that forced Ruth out of Mattel, the company she founded, she drew on her experience as a breast cancer survivor to start a business that changed women's lives. She was ultimately honored as a pioneer, humanitarian, and masterful entrepreneur.

Based on original research, extensive interviews, and previously unavailable material, Barbie and Ruth tells the fascinating story of how two women forever changed American business and culture.

 

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Review: Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World's Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her

User Review  - Kelsey Christensen - Goodreads

There were some interesting things in this book, but a whole bunch of business jargon I didn't understand made it hard to get through. Read full review

Review: Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World's Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her

User Review  - Christine Dooley-sheehan - Goodreads

Interesting read about a trail blazing business woman in a time when that was an unknown thing. Controversial but had no idea about her life, pre or post Barbie. Read full review

Contents

The Doll Nobody Wanted
1
The Tenth Child
21
Love at a Nickel a Dance
29
Ruth and Elliot and Matt
43
A Working Mother
61
UkeADoodles
71
Music Makers and Sour Notes
79
Gambling Everything on Mickey Mouse
91
The Cancer Within
165
The Plot Unravels
185
Nearly Me
197
The Wages of Fraud
213
Forced Service
225
Ken and a Time of Plague
233
Her Way
245
Authors Note
255

The Woman and the Doll
103
Soaring in the Sixties
119
Toys Money and Power
135
Hot Wheels and Hot Deals
147
Bibliography
258
Acknowledgments
267
Index
269
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Robin Gerber is the author of several books, including Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way, Katharine Graham, and the novel Eleanor vs. Ike. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

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