The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie

A Doll's History and Her Impact on Us
Narrated by: Stina Nielsen
Length: 3 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (274 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the prologue, Meg Cabot describes her desire for a Barbie and her mother's reluctance to purchase one, basically summing up the conflict surrounding the doll since its introduction in 1959.

Listeners learn about Mattel Toys and the background behind Barbie's concept and development, how it was a solution for girls who wanted to imagine adult roles rather than just play mother, and details about inventor Ruth Handler. But more than that, Stone reveals the pathos behind so many relationships of girls with Barbie: those who cherished her and those who were negatively influenced.

Was she a destructive role model or just a toy? Experts disagree. In this balanced overview, both sides of the quandary are addressed. Barbie's different roles, graduating from nurse to surgeon, stewardess to pilot, and always a woman of her own means, reflect societal changes over the past 50 years as well.

©2010 Tanya Lee Stone (P)2011 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

a story well told and researched

very interesting. I really enjoyed this mind opening experience. I still love barbie though and won't stop loving her. this just open my eyes to certain things.

9 people found this helpful

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Learned a lot, but no solid foundation

I definitely learned a lot from this little book. It wasn't too ground breaking, but very informative. I do feel like the writer flip flopped on their side (for or against Barbie) and the uncertainty shone through. they should have picked a side, or remained neutral. It just lead to a very loose finish.

13 people found this helpful

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Barbie's history in a nutshell

Good look at the life of Barbie and the woman who created her. She was an icon for me as a child growing up in the 70's and 80's and to my daughter now.

10 people found this helpful

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I'll Never Look At Barbie The Same Way Again

I've been a Barbie collector for the past nine years and thought that I knew all that there was to know about her. But after having listened to this book, my perspective on her has completely changed. At the end of the day, there really is more to Barbie than just the blonde hair, blue eyes, wasp waist and big tits. Barbie is truly an icon, and it shouldn't really come as a shock to anyone that she's managed to not only exist but also stay relevant for almost sixty years. I guess she really does have "something special"! 💎

19 people found this helpful

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great!

a great history of Barbie! I'm using for a history report and it's a great source.

8 people found this helpful

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very repetitive

could not finish. liked early chapters on origin of matell and Barbie. but then Ruth's story is dropped unfinished (what happened to this very interesting woman? what were her later reflections on her creation?) and then the popular and opposite views on Barbie get rehashed and repeated over and over. stopped at chapter 6.

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Barbie's History

Barbie’s history is much more intricate than her happy-go-lucky brand would imply. This book provided an informative and interesting overview of the history of Barbie and her creator, Ruth Handler. I was actually really interested in the life and ambition of Ruth Handler and how she managed to create her company and helped it thrive.

The narration of the book was good, and it was an easy listen.

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Title says it all

Perhaps everything you wanted to know about the Barbie doll... all in one place. The scandals, the ownership, the designs, the problems, and the crimes. The "Barbie" story in a nut shell.

While I still have questions into a few details here and there, I did feel like the author put an extensive amount of research and time into the subject and I got an awful lot from the book. Everything's there from the start, the name, the different doll designs, Barbie's friends, Ken... and why Mattel used identical molds for different ethnicities. You learn some of Ruth's thinking into the direction of the company and dolls.

The good stuff's there as well as the bad. Well written and we'll narrated.



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I love Barbie

I love Barbie even more now that I know this story. I'm also a Ruth fanatic now. Very good book.

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A Brief History

This was an interesting, but brief history of Barbie in our society. The narrator had a nice voice and the author’s writing style was very readable.