“Barbie and her creator, the sharp-elbowed gal who built the biggest toy company, have a story to tell.” —Time
Barbie and Ruth is the remarkable true story of the world’s most famous toy and the woman who created her. It is a fascinating account of how one visionary woman and her product changed an industry and sparked a lasting debate about women’s roles. At once a business book, a colorful portrait of an extraordinary female entrepreneur, and a breathtaking look at a cultural phenomenon, Barbie and Ruth is a must read for anyone who ever owned a Barbie doll.
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, Ruth 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.
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.
“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