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Om forfatteren

Robin Gerber is the author of several books, including Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way, Katharine Graham, and the novel Eleanor vs. Ike. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
Image credit: Robin Gerber

Værker af Robin Gerber

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20th Century
Washington, D.C., USA



A book about Barbie and her maker, Ruth Handler. This is a neat book in terms of that it was neatly portioned out. I was able to read the book over a 2 week period without missing a beat. Nothing spectacular.

The book did focus much more on Ruth Handler than Barbie. It told a story without getting emotionally involved. After reading the book, I don't feel anything special toward Ruth Handler. Neither did I throughout the book.
wellington299 | 2 andre anmeldelser | Feb 19, 2022 |
Robin Gerber’s alternate history novel is based on an intriguing premise: as he takes the stage to accept the Democratic presidential nomination in 1952, Adlai Stevenson suffers a fatal heart attack. Facing a fractious convention and a politically formidable Republican nominee, the party’s leaders turn to Eleanor Roosevelt and ask her to serve as their standard-bearer. After reluctantly accepting the offer, Roosevelt begins a spirited campaign with the help of a rising young campaign manager and the devotion of her many passionate supporters. Yet in addition to facing long odds and a politically formidable Republican nominee, she must also undertake an additional challenge that no nominee before her has ever had to address: that of convincing Americans that the nation is indeed ready for a female president.

Like science fiction in general, alternate history is a genre dominated by the interests and attitudes of men. Because of this, many scenarios focus on wars or the decisions made by political leaders. This is what makes Gerber’s book so refreshingly different. Her focus on Eleanor Roosevelt offers a nice change of pace, supplying an imaginative speculation of the type that distinguishes the best works of the genre. Having written a previous, nonfiction book on Roosevelt, , she has an easy familiarity with the particulars of her life, which allows Gerber to develop her into a well-defined character. Yet this book is about more than just Eleanor Roosevelt. Published in 2008, it advances a none-too-subtle argument that the time has come for a woman to be elected president – a point that Gerber makes explicit with a chance encounter between Roosevelt and a young Hillary Rodham.

Though such a detail may date the novel somewhat, Gerber’s novel transcends this point to offer a dramatic narrative of a election that might have been. Based as much as possible on the words and actions of the people at the times, it does not sacrifice plausibility in speculating on what a Eleanor Roosevelt candidacy might have looked like, nor does it sacrifice readability to offer a dry recitation of details. Though some of her other characters are not as well defined as her central protagonist, Gerber has written an enjoyable book that is well worth the time of fans of political novels and alternate history tales.
… (mere)
MacDad | 5 andre anmeldelser | Mar 27, 2020 |
First of all, let me just say that there is no real fault to the main text of this book. Gerber approaches the story of the Barbie doll from her background of writing the biography of Ruth Handler, Barbie's creator and a pioneering woman in her own right, even without considering her most famous invention. The problem is that this seemed like a rushed job and there wasn't any passion or attention to detail in the creation of the book.

The narrative here is about how inspirational Barbie is as a play doll and as an icon to many generations of women and men. Things only broke down when I noticed factual errors and omissions in many of the splendid photographs included in the book.

This is a sanctioned, official Mattel product put out for the 60th Anniversary of their flagship toy, how is there even one basic error, let alone enough that I stopped keeping count? The errors may seem unimportant, but a year or two difference in a date means a lot in the collecting world, especially when Gerber cites many of the better researched Barbie books in her bibliography. There are simple facts of production years and availability for outfits, dolls and accessories that are made clear as day in those other books, but are clouded here. Other photos show a potentially fascinating interior look at a design office, groups of personnel, and retail or convention displays - with only the slimmest of notations. One instance shows a full retail display of the Barbie clothing line for children that was scrapped in the early '60s without ever hitting stores - the caption describes it merely as a woman looking at a display of Barbie merchandise.

The book also follows the convention where the text and the photos don't pair up. The photos were obviously collected and laid out by a completely different individual and little effort was made past the opening segment of the book to pair the text with relevant photographs. Many of the photos are amazing, have not been widely available before, and deserved more attention. I did not need to hear more from Billyboy,

Barbie is inspirational and a lot of effort has been made by the Mattel corporation in recent years to create an inclusive array of dolls that are the best quality for the price-point and reflect all children. I'm saddened, though, that there didn't seem to be anyone attached to this book project with any real knowledge or passion of the history of the brand.

As Charlie Brown would say, I just can't stand it!
… (mere)
ManWithAnAgenda | 1 anden anmeldelse | Dec 30, 2019 |
Chances are, if you’re sixty years old or younger, you’ve owned, played with, and cherished at least one beloved Barbie doll. I owned loads of them when I was a child, and they played a large role in my growing-up years.

“Playing Barbies” was a favorite pastime growing up. My sister and I would set up a Barbie town square, containing a hairdresser, hospital, clothing store, schoolhouse, and more. We each had our handmade homes showcasing our own styles, on each end of the hallway and spent days setting everything up. We wrote out storylines of who would do what, who’d fall in love, who’d start a career, etc. Ahhh… those were the days. I can’t express how much fun we had, or how the Barbie town strewn and stretched across half the house drove our neat-freak mother half-crazy. I look back fondly, with a smile stretched wide, over the time my sister and I spent with Barbie and her friends.

Just as I treasured my Barbies, I’ll treasure Barbie Forever. Wow—what a pearl! From the beautiful front cover to the detailed timeline on the back pages, this quality, hardback coffee table book brings so many memories to the surface. I enjoyed reminiscing over Barbie’s many looks, learning how she came to be, and reflecting on the impact she’s made on so many lives. I’ve learned so much about this American icon and the creator behind her.

I’m glad the pages are sturdy and thick, because I’m sure this coffee table book will be thumbed through for many years to come. The photos capture the past sixty years and the history of this classic doll is priceless.

First line (Chapter One): There are endless ways to play with Barbie, and for sixty years, girls have loved the fantasies that the doll helps them create.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through BookPleasures. I was under no obligation to post a positive review.
… (mere)
CoverLoverBookReview | 1 anden anmeldelse | Sep 27, 2019 |


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