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Celebrate the sixty-fifth anniversary of Barbie in a book dedicated to the fascinating history of the world’s most popular doll. Created by Mattel founder Ruth Handler, a game-changing feminist visionary, Barbie defied the conventions of the 1950s, establishing a role for women other than a wife and mother. With an identity outside of her family, Barbie represented an astounding modern departure, opening the imagination for what a doll—and a woman—could be. Decade by decade, the title comprehensively explores the Barbie doll’s evolution from 1959 to today with fascinating facts, insights and never-before-seen imagery. From Marilyn Monroe to Margot Robbie, fashion designers to first responders, Barbie is the essential primer of an American phenomenon. Today, more than a billion Barbie dolls with over 250 careers have been purchased worldwide, offered in an array of different nationalities, ethnicities, and body types. In these pages, readers will discover not only Barbie’s rich history but her singular magic: She is a doll through whom girls can project their own fantasies, whether it be doctor, rock star, paleontologist, Olympic gold medalist, Major League Baseball player, virologist, or ecologist.


  • 340 pages
  • over 350 illustrations
  • English language
  • Released in November 2023
  • W 9.88 x L 12.99 x D 1.53 in
  • Silk hardcover
  • ISBN: 9781649803214
  • 6.0 lbs.


<p>A lifelong fan who still has every one of her Barbie dolls, the plastic convertible, and two Dreamhouses, Susan Shapiro is a bestselling author/coauthor of many books, including <em>Five Men Who Broke My Heart</em> (recently optioned for a movie), <em>The Forgiveness Tour,</em> <em>The Bosnia List, The Byline Bible </em>writing guide, and, most recently, <em>American Shield</em>. She freelances for <em>The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, New York, Elle, Oprah, Wired</em>, and <em>The New Yorker</em>. By night she’s an award-winning writing professor who has taught at the New School, New York University and Columbia University and now offers private classes online. Follow her on X @ Susanshapironet and on Instagram @Profsue123.</p>


My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices.

Ruth Handler, creator of Barbie


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