Not Pretty Enough: The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown

Not Pretty Enough: The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown

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When Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl first appeared in 1962, it whistled into buttoned-down America like a bombshell: Brown declared that it was okay - even imperative - for unmarried women to have and enjoy a sex life, and that equal rights for women should extend to the bedroom and the workplace. “How dare you?” thundered newspapers, radio hosts, and (mostly male) citizens. But more than two million women bought the book and hailed her as a heroine. Brown was also pilloried as a scarlet woman and a traitor to the women’s movement when she took over the failing Hearst magazine Cosmopolitan and turned it into a fizzy pink guidebook for “do-me” feminism. As the first magazine geared to the rising wave of single working women, it sold wildly. Today, more than 68 million young women worldwide are still reading some form of Helen Gurley Brown’s audacious yet comforting brand of self-help.

Her life story is astonishing, from her roots in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, to her single-girl decade as a Mad Men–era copywriter in Los Angeles, which informed her first bestseller, to her years at the helm of Cosmopolitan. Helen Gurley Brown told her own story many times, but coyly, with plenty of camouflage. Here, for the first time, is the unvarnished and decoded truth about “how she did it” - from her comet-like career to “bagging” her husband of half a century, the movie producer David Brown.

Full of firsthand accounts of HGB from many of her closest friends and rediscovered, little-known interviews with the woman herself, Gerri Hirshey’s Not Pretty Enough is a vital biography that shines new light on the life of one of the most vibrant, vexing, and indelible women of the twentieth century.
Info

ISBN: 9780374537074

Published Date: January 1, 2016

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Language: English

Page Count: 500

Size: 8.50" l x 5.50" w x 1.50"