The Maybelline Story: And the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It

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SCB Distributors, 4 ott 2011 - 416 pagine
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In1915, when a kitchen stove fire singed his sister Mabel's lashes and brows, Tom Lyle Williams watched in fascination as she performed what she called 'a secret of the harem'‚€”mixing petroleum jelly with coal dust and ash from a burnt cork and applying it to her lashes and brows. Mabel's simple beauty trick ignited Tom Lyle's imagination and he started what would become a billion-dollar business, one that remains a viable American icon after nearly a century. He named it Maybelline in her honor. Throughout the twentieth century, the Maybelline company inflated, collapsed, endured, and thrived in tandem with the nation's upheavals‚€”as did the family that nurtured it. Tom Lyle Williams‚€”to avoid unwanted scrutiny of his private life‚€”cloistered himself behind the gates of his Rudolph Valentino Villa and ran his empire from the shadows. Now, after nearly a century of silence, this true story celebrates the life of an American entrepreneur, a man forced to remain behind a mask‚€”using his sister-in-law Evelyn Boecher‚€”to be his front.

Stories of the-great-man-and-how-he-did-it serve as a traditional mainstay of biographies, but with the strong women's book-buying market, a resurgence of interest in memoirs that focus on relationships more than a single man and his accomplishments are more likely to be discussed in women's book groups. The Maybelline Story combines the best of both approaches: a man whose vision rocketed him to success along with the woman held in his orbit.

In the way that Rhett Butler ignored the criticism of his peers to carve his own destiny, Tom Lyle Williams shares similar grit and daring. But Rhett without Scarlet wouldn't be much of a story. Evelyn Williams provides the energy of an antagonist. Like Scarlet, we sometimes hate her and want to shake her, but sometimes, we must admit that we hold a grudging respect; we get a kick out of her and even occasionally, love her for her guts and tenacity, and certainly because she carved out a life for herself and insisted on having a voice, even if she was a fly in the ointment for others.

The Maybelline story provides other kinds of classic literary satisfaction. We are especially fascinated to slip vicariously into the lives of the rich and privileged yet cheer for the underdog who overcomes obstacles to astound doubters with his success. We are enthralled with the historical sweep of events whose repercussions live on to the present, all elements of The Maybelline Story‚€”which reads like a juicy novel, but is in fact a family memoir, distilled from nine hundred pages of family accounts from the 1920's to present.

An engrossing and captivating saga that spans four generations and reveals the humanity, the glamour, and the seedy underside of a family intoxicated by the quest for power, wealth, and physical perfection. It is a fascinating and inspiring tale of ambition, luck, greed, secrecy‚€”and surprisingly, above all, love and forgiveness, a tale both epic and intimate, alive with the clash, the hustle, the music, and dance of American enterprise.

-- Sharrie Williams
 

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Indice

Smoke and Fire
An Idea Is Born 19121926
Inventing Tom Lyle Williams
A Thousand Dimes a
A Secret from the Harem
The Little Red
The Return of a Different
Triangle
The Prodigal
Oh Preston
Paradise West
The Man in the Llama Coat
Part 3
Miss
Miss Maybelline Is Back Sort
True Confessions

Geometry of the Heart
Leaving Chicago
A Ring and Roses
The Godfather
Part 2
Doctors Orders Darling
The Stetson
This You Gotta
The Business of Family
The Deal
Whos Virginia?
Miss Maybelline and Mr Hyde
Crashes
Buddy Can You Spare 30000?
After the Roar
Brave Fronts
Rags and Riches
Technicolor
The Girl Who Was Not a Dame
Plaid Skirt Meets Silk Kimono
Black Velvet Meets Apron
Ill Never Smile Again
Chica Chica Boom Chic
Shattered
We Interrupt This Program
Miss Gold Digger Meets Mr Gold
Private Feud and World
Most of You Will Be Killed
A Queen and a Princess
Tony
Rio and Reds
CoverUp
Part 4
Copyright

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Informazioni sull'autore (2011)

Sharrie Williams is Tom Lyle Williams's grandniece and Evelyn Boecher Williams's granddaughter.

Biographer Youngs is the author of 36 books published in 28 languages.

Informazioni bibliografiche