Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Aug 21, 2012/ 3 Elul, 5772

Not just a little girl from Little Rock

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Helen Gurley Brown wasn't just a little girl from Little Rock, to borrow a lyric from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." No, sir, she was from Green Forest, Ark., which is about 125 miles up the road from Little Rock. And from Los Angeles as well as Texas State College for Women at Denton, to name a couple of other locales that could claim her.

Born in 1922, the daughter of schoolteachers, she soon had to learn how to fend for herself. What would you say the chances were for a girl who lost her father at 10 (in a freak elevator accident at the state Capitol), had to support her mother and polio-stricken sister the rest of their lives, and wound up knocking around the country?

Answer: The chances are very good (a) if you're born in America, and (b) if you're born Helen Gurley. The young lady was no dummy (class valedictorian at her high school in L.A., and most popular girl, too) and never said no to an adventure. Or failed to learn something of commercial value from it. All of which explains her success, at least by the world's fleeting standards.

"I'm just a little girl from Little Rock/ But fate led me straight to Murray Hill." Well, maybe not straight, but she'd wind up making once fashionable Murray Hill look like the slums. Her obituary in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette called her "one of the world's most popular and influential editors," which may say more about the world's taste than hers.

Editor/author Brown's success provides ample documentation for the sage observation attributed to H.L. Mencken that "nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public." Onward and Downward! But never call it vulgarity. Call it popularity and influence, which the obit writers politely did in Helen Gurley Brown's case. Nil nisi bonum and all that. After all, her 1962 best-seller "Sex and the Single Girl," was published in 28 countries, translated into 16 languages, and became a Major Motion Picture starring Tony Curtis. So there. She could laugh all the way to the Chase Manhattan.

How describe Helen Gurley Brown? She was a best-selling writer, an advertising copywriter of considerable note, savvy editor, mother confessor who never ceased confessing, certainly a stylesetter, and a combination Mae West and Oprah Winfrey for her (long) time.

What a girl and, soon enough, woman. She edited Cosmopolitan, that supermarket staple, for 32 years and made it a guide for young women all over the world who adopted her advice ("Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere") or pretended to.

Editor and celebrity Brown knew better than to take her quip too seriously, as her happy marriage/love affair of 51 years attested. But she talked, wrote and sold a great game. And was 90 when she finally threw in her cards the other day.

Maybe she didn't raise the standards of American taste, but at least she took some of the starchier prejudices out of it. And her own tastes were certainly better than those who confused what she wrote with literature.

In whatever category her own prose fell, Editor Brown could spot quality in that of others, and could sum it up in a pithy phrase. Her most memorable editorial judgment may have been scribbled on a submission from a contributor to Cosmopolitan named Florence King, whom Ms. Brown always addressed by the reversed salutation, "Florence Dear," but whom connoisseurs of American prose will know as a thinker, delight, misanthrope, conservative lesbian feminist, and Southerner par excellence. And that scarcely covers her complexity.

Miss King must have needed the money to wind up publishing her stuff in Cosmo's pages, but don't we all need some at one time or another? Which would explain those bodice-rippers and porno pulps she'd punch out for fun and profit under a nom de plume, or at least nom de typewriter. ("Nothing is more frustrating than sitting in an office amid typewriters and mimeographers when you know what deus ex machina means." --King, F.)

If the distinguishing traits of the Southern character are identity, complexity and eccentricity, Miss Florence has 'em all plus a subversive depth behind her devastating wit. All of which Helen Gurley Brown summed up in her note on that submission to Cosmo: "Well, we never get anything pippy-poo from Florence, she's always so warpy-and-woofy."

Brevity is the soul of good editorial judgment as well as wit. Who says Helen Gurley Brown wasn't a great writer? At least in her editorial notes. For it takes one to tell one. The moral of her life story: Never underestimate a little girl from ... Green Forest, Ark.

Paul Greenberg Archives

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

© 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles