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Barbie and Ruth by Robin Gerber

Barbie and Ruth (2009)

by Robin Gerber

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This is an excellent short biography of the woman who created and sold Barbie. It is also the story of a woman who built her own company from the ground up when business was a males world. It is the story of Ruth Handler and her husband Elliot. Elliot was the designer who had the ideas and the skills to bring a project to fruition. Ruth was the business brains. Elliot created. Ruth sold. Together they built Mattel into a huge conglomerate.

It is also the story of their rise and fall. Ruth was successfully prosecuted by the SEC, pre Martha Stewart, and served time as a convicted felon. It is also the story of a breast cancer survivor who used her business building know-how to create a build a second company devoted to helping breast cancer survivors regain their dignity and looks.

I expects this to be a dry dull book and was so pleasantly surprised to find it very readable and exciting. What A Woman! I would have liked to meet her. ( )
  benitastrnad | Feb 25, 2013 |
This is a well-written story of Ruth Handler's life from her childhood being raised by a sister, to her success at founding and growing Mattel, to her legal problems associated with money mishandling at the company, to her reincarnation as the creator of the Nearly Me breast prosthetic. Handler is clearly a complex woman, and this biography deals well with those complexities. ( )
  debherter | Apr 4, 2009 |
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For Ariel, Julia, and Tasha
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Ruth Handler could sell anything.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061341312, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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

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