Barbie: 60 Years of Inspiration

Barbie: 60 Years of Inspiration

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Established March 9, 1959, Barbie arrived on the scene and took the world by storm. Envisioned as a new kind of doll that allowed girls to play out roles that expand beyond a caretaker, Barbie has become one of the most recognizable faces in the world over the past 60 years. Reflecting the ambitions and aspirations of generations of children, Barbie is far more than just a toy: She mirrors the evolution of modern culture and the expansion of women’s roles in society.


Barbie’s story is a journey through six decades of social culture, inspired by the vision and tenacity of one woman, Ruth Handler, who dared to pursue her personal dreams in the face of hardship and opposition. Featuring an in-depth and witty text, Barbie: Sixty Years of Inspiration connects the history of Barbie with the history of modern women, highlighting the moments within each decade that have led to the advancement of women in all areas, from the workforce to sports, technology to government, culture, and innovation.


Curating the most dynamic images from Mattel brand archives alongside significant social and historical events, Barbie: Sixty Years of Inspiration reflects Barbie’s impact on cultural trends and illustrates her message of positive female empowerment. Above all, Barbie’s mission has always been to inspire girls around the world to follow their dreams and become anything they want.


Susan Shapiro is a lifelong Barbie fan and a best-selling author of twelve books, including Five Men Who Broke My HeartLighting UpThe Bosnia List, and most recently The Byline Bible. She freelances for The New York TimesNew York magazine, The Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostLos Angeles Times, and Elle, among others. She is also an award-winning writing professor who teaches at The New School, New York University, and Columbia University.
  • 312 pages
  • 300 illustrations
  • English language
  • Released in April 2019
  • W 27.9 x L 35.3 x D 4.9 cm
  • Hardcover in a luxury slipcase
  • ISBN: 9781614287575
  • 4.064 kg

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