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Enter Helen: The Invention of Helen Gurley Brown and the Rise of the Modern Single Woman (Hardcover)

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    Staff Reviews

    The Woman, The Myth, The Badass. Helen Gurley Brown wrote Sex and the Single Girl and transformed Cosmopolitian magazine to help create a new kind of unapologetically single woman. This book is as much a dynamic biography of Brown herself, featuring interviews with colleagues, friends, and Brown's own letters, as it is a portrait of the swinging sixties, New York, and the postwar boom. Hauser's writing matches her subject is alternately playful and serious, it is completelyin control of its narrative. Second wave feminism, sex, and "having it all" get their due in this book about a woman who, love her or leave her, has transformed our lives.

    — From Hannah


    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.

    Praise For…

    “Engaging…. Nimble-footed…. Amusing….Throughout, Hauser weaves in passages connecting Brown to her contemporaries and the cultural landscape of the 1960s…[to] situate her life in the context of its times.”

    “Brown deserves the biography that Brooke Hauser has written, Enter Helen. It is entertaining, thoughtfully researched and — the ultimate encomium where HGB was concerned — fun.”

    “Legendary, inimitable Cosmopolitan editor and Sex and the Single Girl author Helen Gurley Brown comes alive in Hauser’s hands.”

    “Encapsulates the colorful life of a woman who rocked minis well into her eighties.”


    “A must-read piece of proto-feminist history.”

    “Hauser deftly pulls out fascinating details…. Some truly juicy moments…. Hauser dives into her youth and her early career in advertising far more than these years have been explored previously, setting the stage much more firmly for understanding how Brown accomplished all that she did.”

    “A compelling drama about a determined woman and Cosmopolitan editor, the original Sex and the City gal Helen Gurley Brown, which reveals how powerful (and threatening) a female in command of her pocketbook, sexuality, and career can really be.”

    “Hauser dives deep into the life of our former HBIC and uncovers what drove her to revolutionize the way we live and date today. HGB, we TY.”

    “As Brooke Hauser’s lively biography…reveals, [Helen Gurley Brown] was as comfortable championing single ‘career girls’ as she was giving them tips on how to catch a man—and her own contradictory, have-it-all life proved to be as compelling as the era she helped define.”

    “Reading Enter Helen was like being at a party, and I’m sorry it had to end. With this sexy, riveting book, Brooke Hauser takes us on a joy ride through the 1960s and ‘70s of Helen Gurley Brown’s life. Engaging and important.”

    “A riveting…complex biography.… Such a great read. Enter Helen is neither hagiographic nor damning.”

    “Journalist Brooke Hauser’s breezy and entertaining new biography…chronicles Brown’s remarkable story, which is also a social history of two decades—the sixties and the seventies—whose cultural impact remains significant.”

    “It is to be hoped that Brooke Hauser’s excellent biography and a film in the works will give Sex and the Single Girl another lease on life.”

    “An engaging, juicy, and edifying read.”
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780062342669
    ISBN-10: 0062342665
    Publisher: Harper
    Publication Date: April 19th, 2016
    Pages: 480
    Language: English