Finding Betty Crocker by Sarah Marks
As a part of American culture, and a facinating food icon, Betty Crocker has shaped our image of home cooking for decades.


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Jessica Tagliaferro is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, NY.


July 2005


Product Reviews / Best Reads / Food History, Philosophy & Reference

Finding Betty Crocker: The Secret Life of America's First Lady of Food

By Sarah Marks

Today, many people know that Betty Crocker was the fictional creation of ad men for the Gold Medal Flour makers Washburn Crosby Co., a forerunner of General Mills. It is hard to believe by today’s cynical standards, that the company was able to keep up the charade of Betty from 1936 to the 1950s, during which time many Americans believed Crocker was a real person making appearances in magazines, on her national wartime radio show, and later on television portrayed by the actress Adelaide Hawley. This work follows Crocker’s invention and path to icon-hood, and provides insight into the corporate strategies that created her and a generation of women who revered her. The book incorporates a number of intriguing artifacts from the General Mills company archive, including images of the evolving Betty—from a gray-haired “home ec” teacher type to a modern supermom—and letters with personal as well as culinary themes written by homemakers to Betty.

  • 288 pages
  • Simon & Schuster
  • 2005

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