“Understanding and Interpreting a Life” explores magazine icon Helen Gurley Brown’s life as well as the working-class roots of her controversial form of feminism. Both conservatives and feminists objected to Brown’s sex-positive take on women’s lives, but neither quite understood her message or her intended audience. Brown brazenly forged a path for women that claimed economic and sexual freedom, revolutionized women’s magazines and women’s lives, and complicated the ways in which we understand the relationships among women, men, money, and sex. This reading of a collection of letters from her fans expands our understanding of mid-20th-century American life, for men as well as women.
TAGS: biography, capitalism, women, social movements topic