Customer Reviews for

Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World's Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her

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  • Posted February 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Creation of America's Favorite Doll

    Barbie and Ruth is book with a story of a woman filled with ambition. She begins her journey into her business of America's most popular doll wasn't an easy one. Because of the male dominant business society during the 50's and 60's, it made Ruth's situation a little more difficult. I would say that a major theme throughout this book is to keep your mind set on the goal you are striving for. Ruth could have easily given up and become a normal housewife like any other woman during that time period, but because she refused to let society define who she was to become, she accomplished all of her goals plus some. I definitely enjoyed how Robin Gerber not only told the story of Ruth's business hardships, but also her childhood and other family hardships that occurred. This aspect of the book allowed the reader to be inside Ruth's life and understand her struggles because she was raised by a sister rather than a mother, the intimate relationship that began long ago with her husband Elliot, and also the history with her children Barbara and Ken. This biography was not one that dragged on for what seemed like forever, it was an enjoyable read. Although, if there was one characteristic I would change would be the lack of pictures. Mental pictures could be made without a doubt, but physical pictures that allowed the reader into Ruth's life and what her environment looked like would have been nice. If you're an individual who enjoys the history of the world's most popular doll, Barbie, or women that succeed in the business world, then this is definitely the book for you. I wouldn't suggest it if you don't take interest in small details of how the product became world known.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    Interesting Historical View of Women in Management

    Robin Gerber has unearthed an appealing story about Ruth and the evolution of Barbie and Ruth throughout the years. It is a quick read putting forth aspects of Ruth's life, the effect of her drive and aspirations on the people around her, and the success she achieved and lost. Ruth is a hard driving, insightful entrepreneur unafraid to take risks in a time when people thought she had no place in business. Barbie was Ruth's vision for all little girls to come - you can have beauty, power, and a life full of expriences beyond the home.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read for both industry experts and curious novelists

    Barbie & Ruth was more about the inception of Mattel than the creation of Barbie. It was somewhat biographical about Ruth Handler and her rise to glory, fall from grace and quiet exit from the toy world. However don't be discouraged because I thought the author covered the Barbie story quite well. I especially enjoyed the many different views on Ruth's personality and business acumen. I'm not sure Ruth would have enjoyed the author's portrayal of her but for me it made it that much more believable. The book did not endear me to Ruth. Starting out the book with her court sentencing made me have an instant dislike for her in ways that are reinforced throughout the book. However by the end I felt I had a better understanding of who she was as a person.
    I really enjoyed every page of this book; it was well written and engaging. I would highly recommend it!

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