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  • Life of the Party

  • The Remarkable Story of How Brownie Wise Built, and Lost, a Tupperware Party Empire
  • Written by: Bob Kealing
  • Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

The incredible story of Brownie Wise, the Southern single mother - and postwar #Girlboss - who built, and lost, a Tupperware home-party empire.

Before Mary Kay, Martha Stewart, and Joy Mangano, there was Brownie Wise, the charismatic Tupperware executive who converted postwar optimism into a record-breaking sales engine powered by American housewives. In Life of the Party, Bob Kealing offers the definitive portrait of Wise, a plucky businesswoman who divorced her alcoholic husband, started her own successful business, and eventually caught the eye of Tupperware inventor Earl Tupper, whose plastic containers were collecting dust on store shelves.

The Tupperware Party that Wise popularized, a master class in the soft sell, drove Tupperware's sales to soaring heights. It also gave minimally educated and economically invisible postwar women, including some African American women, an acceptable outlet for making their own money for their families - and for being rewarded for their efforts. With the people skills of Dale Carnegie, the looks of Doris Day, and the magnetism of Eva Peron, Wise was as popular among her many devoted followers as she was among the press, and she became the first woman to appear on the cover of BusinessWeek in 1954. Then, at the height of her success, Wise's ascent ended as quickly as it began. Earl Tupper fired her under mysterious circumstances, wrote her out of Tupperware's success story, and left her with a pittance. He walked away with a fortune, and she disappeared - until now.

Originally published as Tupperware Unsealed by the University Press of Florida in 2008 - and optioned by Sony Pictures, with Sandra Bullock attached to star - this revised and updated edition is perfectly timed to take advantage of renewed interest in this long-overlooked American business icon.

©2016 Bob Kealing (P)2016 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"This is the riveting and unaccountably forgotten story of Brownie Wise, the single mom and 1950s Tupperware saleswoman extraordinaire who captivated the heart of everyone in postwar America - everyone, that is, except her boss, Earl Tupper. The drama that ensued is 'must read' business history." (Tilar J. Mazzeo, New York Times best-selling author of The Widow Clicquot)
"[In this] vivid portrait of Tupperware's origins...Kealing celebrates Wise's struggles against sexist, chauvinist corporate America.... [It's] a book that certainly does her justice." ( Wall Street Journal)

What listeners say about Life of the Party

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • NMwritergal
  • 2016-09-22

Interesting story about the person behind the...

...product. Well, the people behind the product. There's a fair bit about Tupper in here too. This is not my usual genre: Bios about business leaders, but I had to listen to this. Tupperware was such a part of my childhood. Ok, that sounds weird, but my mother STILL has Tupperware from the 60s and 70s--mine is more recent--and it's just one of those...markers of childhood that stick out as much as Star Trek or what have you.

Anyway, an interesting read!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Janice
  • 2016-09-15

Woman succeeds

very well written story of a woman making it in a man's world. it was a truly inspiring story of what determination can do.

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  • R. D. A. Whatley
  • 2017-08-05

What Drive!

What a story of strength, success, betrayal, and hope. This would make a great movie!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2021-10-29

very ENGAGING

The narration is superb. They do a great job. The author presents well researched information of the amazing Brownie Wise.

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  • Sharey
  • 2019-08-08

Well Written But Lost Interest

After a while I tended to lose interest. I lack the gossip factor about other people's lives when it becomes tedious and ultimately squabbling like the second half of this story. It would be better suited for a business or entrepreneurial student, especially female. I wearily finished having about all I could stand to hear about Tupperware and the organization. 3 stars for interest, 5 for research and writing (which were well done).