Oh, Barbie. At least HALF of the people reading this post owned one, and probably EVERYONE reading it either played with or destroyed one. (My cousin used to set his sisterâ€™s Barbies on fire in the driveway.) People either love Barbie or hate her, as author Tanya Lee Stone discovered when she was writing this fair and balanced book about the biggest doll of all time. â€œThere is not much middle-of-the-road when it comes to Barbieâ€¦We all impose our own ideas and perceptions on the world, and Barbie may just be the ultimate scapegoat.â€ Starting with a forward by chick lit queen Meg Cabot that ends with, â€œâ€¦like Barbie, we could be anything we wanted to be.â€ (Well, we all know what side SHEâ€™S on:), Stone lays out Barbieâ€™s whole story, from her humble beginnings at Mattel toy company, where she was conceived by co-CEO Ruth Handler, to her rise as a pop culture icon, as captured by Andy Warholâ€™s â€œBarbie.â€ She chronicles Barbieâ€™s uneasy and sometimes controversial changes from a Caucasian doll to an African American doll, and then a Doll of the World. Stone also addresses the whole debate about whether or not Barbieâ€™s unrealistic body proportions are the cause of women’s dissatisfaction with their own measurements. She even humorously explores, through anecdotal interviews she conducted with kids and teens, our apparently universal and totally embarrassing compulsion to strip Barbie and Ken of their designer duds and throw them in a plastic bed together. I especially enjoyed the chapter â€œBarbie as Art,â€ where I got a huge kick out of the jewelry made by Margaux Lange. (Itâ€™s one of those times when you say to yourselfâ€”man, why didnâ€™t I think of that??) Full disclosure? I still have several shoe boxes full of Barbies and her many accessories (including one Ken) in my adult closet that I just canâ€™t bear to throw away. Obviously Iâ€™m not a hater, but whether you worship Barbie or loathe her, youâ€™ll find facts that will both support and challenge your point of view in this interesting and entertaining examination of the famous doll we love to hate.