Robin Gerber, a noted author and speaker on women and leadership, skillfully entwines the stories of two exceptional women. There's Barbie: the diminutive yet arrestingly voluptuous doll unveiled at the 1959 Toy Fair to the disdain of the male buyers. She transcended her strange beginnings as the improbable offspring of 1950s American paper dolls and a European sex toy to be treasured by 90% of American girls and their counterparts in 140 countries, as well as to become an Olympic athlete, Air Force pilot, boutique owner, Presidential candidate, and a cultural icon.And there's Ruth Handler, Barbie's creator: the tenth child of Polish-Jewish immigrants; a brash, passionately competitive and creative business pioneer who stopped at nothing for her vision; a mother and wife who wanted it all; a business phenom and co founder of Mattel who was forced out amid corporate scandal, turned the tragedy of her own breast cancer into a business that changed women's lives, and was ultimately honored as a pioneer, humanitarian, masterful entrepreneur, and the indomitable mother of the world's most famous doll. How Ruth came to be Ruth, how Barbie came to be Ruth's brainchild, and how together they indelibly changed American business and culture is the terrain of this fascinating biography.
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“This stirring biography is a fine study of success and resilience.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Gerber’s smoothly-written biography paints a fearless business woman as a devoted wife, a too-busy mother and a rock-‘em-sock-‘em executive.” (New York Post)
“Barbie and her creator, the sharp-elbowed gal who built the biggest toy company, have a story to tell.” (Time magazine)
This is the entwined tale of two exceptional women. One was a voluptuous eleven-inch-tall beauty who debuted at the 1959 Toy Fair in New York City and quickly became the treasure of 9 out of 10 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. The other was Ruth Handler, the tenth child of Polish Jewish immigrants.
A brilliant, creative, ruthless, and passionately competitive visionary, she was a mother and wife who wanted it all—a masterful entrepreneur who, together with her curvaceous plastic creation, changed American business and culture forever.
Barbie and Ruth is the incredible, inspiring, tragic, and ultimately redeeming true story of how one extraordinary woman built the largest toy company in the world and created an enduring international icon.
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