This cinematic story about legendary Cosmopolitan editor and champion of the single girl Helen Gurley Brown chronicles her rise as 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 that will appeal to fans of Mad Men, 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was looking forward to reading this book since I enjoyed the author's previous one so much (The New Kids, about a Brooklyn high school for new immigrants of every language and ethnicity). This one didn't disappoint. Helen Gurley Brown is an interesting person and a strangely divisive character in the minds of the women of today. Some respect her legacy, some simply hear the word "Cosmo" and think ugh. But she is an essential figure in the rise of the modern woman; like her personally or not, you need to know about her. The book is exhaustedly researched and reported, yet it somehow unfolds in a pleasant, breezy way—it could easily be a beach-read bio—going beyond the official story to tell the actual story. A lot of surprises and great anecdotes. A definite recommend.
From excerpts of Helen Gurley Brown's correspondences with her "Okie" niece to remembrances from her staff about how she conducted interviews while curled up coquettishly on her office sofa, author Brooke Hauser brings the Cosmo editor to life in a dedicated but un-showy way. This extensively researched book is written in an engaging, narrative style that invites the reader to enjoy, not to judge, Brown's contradictions. I enjoyed revisiting the 1960's and 70's through this hyper-feminine yet career-driven, insecure yet brazen figure. Hauser pulls off a totally entertaining and thought-provoking read.
Calling all Pussycats!
With the 4th of July around the corner, Brooke Hauser's new biography, Enter Helen, offers plenty of fireworks and starts the summer off with a bang. I just loved this book and its charting of the rollercoaster ride that was the life and career of Helen Gurley Brown--from her early days growing up in Arkansas to her rise to fame as the author of the infamous Sex and the Single Girl and her long standing reign as Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan.
As a teenager in the 60's, I remember when Cosmo's covers first jumped out at me from the newsstand. The magazine was so different from the standard women's fare of the time. Instead of offering favorite meatloaf recipes and housecleaning tips, Cosmo featured provocative photos of lubricious models and step-by-step instructions on "How to Get Your Man." Wow!
Hauser not only brings to life the social upheaval of this era, but brings it to life through HGB's remarkable,...
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