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Enter Helen: The Invention of Helen Gurley…

Enter Helen: The Invention of Helen Gurley Brown and the Rise of the…

by Brooke Hauser

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Enter Helen by Brooke Hauser is a biography of Helen Gurley Brown, best known as the author of Sex and the Single Girl and as the editor who created a new identity for Cosmopolitan magazine in 1964 and made it the “must-read” magazine for young women for decades.

I grew up during the 1960’s and 70’s and remember faithfully buying my copy of Cosmo. Helen Gurley Brown appeared to have her finger on the pulse of young North American women as she wrote about the changing times for women. From sex tips to career options, Cosmopolitan Magazine told us what to wear, how to look, where to travel and what to read and see. This was the first magazine to cater to young, single women and acknowledge the fun things we were able to do in comparison to magazines like Ladies Home Journal and Good Housekeeping which was aimed at stay-at-home wives and mothers. “Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere, “ she declared.

Helen comes across very much as a woman who learned how to make the very best of herself. Ambitious and strong willed, she took control of her editorship and rose to become a cultural icon. She was strongly supported by her film producer husband, David Brown. They worked together as a team. Enter Helen is both a great look back at this time and a well researched portrait of an influential woman who encouraged single women to strike out and pursue their own interests. A highly entertaining read for anyone who remembers or wants to learn about this era. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jun 8, 2017 |
As a biography of Helen Gurley Brown, I preferred Jennifer Scanlon's Bad Girls Go Everywhere. Enter Helen skips around chronologically, beginning with her meeting and marrying David Brown in 1958-1959, then in chapter 22, suddenly going back to Helen's childhood and teenage years in the 1920s and 1930s. Some of the chapters about the women's liberation movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s are interesting reading, but don't even have anything about Helen in them. I was interested in a new biography of Helen, but didn't enjoy Enter Helen as much as I thought I might. ( )
  booksandscones | Aug 11, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062342665, Hardcover)

This female Mad Men-like story chronicles the legendary Cosmopolitan magazine editor’s rise to power as both a cultural icon and trailblazer who redefined what it means to be an American woman.

In the mid-Sixties, Helen Gurley Brown, author of the groundbreaking Sex and the Single Girl, took over the ailing Cosmopolitan magazine and revamped it into one of the most successful brands in the world. At a time when magazines taught housewives how to make the perfect casserole, Helen reimagined Cosmo and womanhood itself, championing the independent, ambitious, man-loving single woman. Though she was married, to Hollywood producer David Brown, no one embodied the idea of the Cosmo Girl more than the Ozarks-born Helen, who willed, worked, and—yes—occasionally slept her way to the top, eventually becoming one of the most influential media players in the world.

Drawing on new interviews with Helen’s friends and former colleagues as well as her personal letters, Enter Helen brings New York City vibrantly to life during the Sexual Revolution and the Women’s Movement and features a cast of characters including Hugh Hefner, Nora Ephron, and Gloria Steinem. It is the cinematic story of an icon who bucked convention, defined her own destiny, and became a controversial model for modern feminism, laying the groundwork for television shows like Sex and the City and Girls.

“Bad Feminist” or not, Helen Gurley Brown got people talking—about sex, work, reproductive choices, and having it all—forever changing the conversation.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 22 Jan 2016 21:09:12 -0500)

Chronicles the rise of a cultural icon who redefined what it means to be an American woman. In 1965, Helen Gurley Brown, author of the groundbreaking bestseller Sex and the Single Girl, took over an ailing Cosmopolitan and soon revamped it into one of the most bankable--and revolutionary--brands on the planet. At a time when women's magazines taught housewives how to make the perfect casserole, Helen spoke directly to the single girl next door, cheekily advising her on how to pursue men, money, power, pleasure, and, most of all, personal happiness. In this retro romp, journalist Brooke Hauser reveals how a self-proclaimed "mouseburger" from the Ozarks became one of the most influential women of her time. Though she was married (to the renowned movie producer David Brown), no one embodied the idea of the Cosmo Girl more than Helen, who willed, worked, and flirted her way to the top. Bringing New York City vibrantly to life during the sexual revolution and the women's movement, and featuring a rich cast of characters, including Hugh Hefner and Gloria Steinem, Enter Helen is the riveting story of a polarizing pioneer who bucked convention to define her own destiny, baiting a generation that both revered and rejected her.--Adapted from dust jacket.… (more)

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