Story posted May 06, 2009
Jennifer Scanlon's critically acclaimed Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown (Oxford University Press, 2009), a biography of the longtime Cosmopolitan editor, has earned rave reviews from the likes of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Week and most recently, The New Yorker.
The review, "Helenism: The Birth of the Cosmo Girl," appears in the magazine's May 11, 2009, issue.
Reviewer Judith Thurman calls the book "a serious academic reconsideration of a figure, who Scanlon argues, has been slighted by feminist history, and deserves a place in its pantheon, particularly because she was speaking to and for the typists, the flight attendants, and the sales clerks who couldn't afford to burn a good bra, rather than the college-educated sisterhood that was 'womanning' the barricades of the 1970s.
"I'm happy to see Brown getting her due as a pioneer of libidinal equality," adds Thurman.
"Scanlon's portrait reminds one it has never been easy to be both a woman and a person — that femininity (like masculinity) is, to some extent, a performance."
The New Yorker has a circulation of more than 1 million.