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The Four Window Girl or, How to Make More Money Than Men Hardcover – 1959

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (1959)
  • ASIN: B000TC6D5K
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,920,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Shepherd Mead (1914-1994) was one of those men dogged by success. At 22, the quiet Phi Beta Kappa from Washington University left his native St. Louis for New York and joined the mail room of a large corporation - as does J. Pierrepont Finch, the leading character (who is by now a sort of folk hero) in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."

Like Finch, Mead rose to the top. It was, in fact, while he was a Vice President, inhabiting a huge office with four windows, that he wrote "How to Succeed in Business." It remained 12 weeks on the best seller list and was followed by several novels on big business, one of which, "The Admen," sold more than two million copies.

In 1957, Shepherd Mead vacationed with his family in Europe and decided to remain there to live. Meanwhile, back home, Abe Burrows and Frank Loesser were concocting from "How to Succeed in Business" the Broadway musical comedy success that went on to win the Pulitzer, the New York Drama Critics, and almost every other known prize.

Like J. Pierrepont Finch, Mead's caricature of a business man, Mead became a sort of folk hero in his own right - but a folk hero with a message.

To learn more you can follow him on Twitter -
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. E. Roberts on July 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed The Four Window Girl, or How to Make More Money Than a Man. Keep in mind, of course, this book was originally published in 1959 and written by a man. By today's standards it may seem laughably chauvinistic, but that's part of the fun and the charm of reading the book.

If you look past the slightly sexist nature of the story, this book actually offers tactics that work. As a "girl" working in the world of marketing and advertising for over 20 years, I've used some of the same "flimflam larceny and feline skulduggery" that Marie employs in order to move up. And maybe that's why I enjoyed this book so much: It rings true even today.

This is a super quick read (took me about three hours) and fun from beginning to end. The only reason I rated it 4 stars rather than five is because there are many typos that appear to be the kind made by OCR software.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you've read Mead's "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", or even seen the movie musical, you might expect the limitations of this humorous short novel. Women are consistently "girls", and are expected to make their way in the business world by conning and manipulating men (their bosses, mostly), or by doing all the work for which their boss takes credit.

After a wlldly funny consultation with a representative from the bank about her late husband's finances (she is confused by the differences between "savings", "income" and "loan payments"), young widow Marie Frale concludes that she needs to find work to support her young son. She lands a position at "Household", exactly the kind of huge, bustling, confusion-laden corporation Mead's narrator recommends in "How to Succeed".

And from there, she simply applies her own brand of management talent, treating most of the men she works for as if they were children to be guided, or misguided chaps that she can set on the right path.

Yes, the frequent OCR-typos were annoying, but hardly enough to slow down my reading, and the occasional New-Yorker style illustrations contributed immensely to the story. You will need to remember the age for which this story was written (the late 1950s and early 60s) to overlook the mid-20th-century cultural flavor of the tale, but still Mrs. Frale and her manipulated men are a delight to meet.

And you'll love (or maybe hate) the way she finally succeeds in becoming that ultimate success, the four-window girl!
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