In Her Brilliant Career, acclaimed journalist Rachel Cooke goes back in time to offer an entertaining and iconoclastic look at ten women in the 1950s—pioneers whose professional careers and complicated private lives helped to create the opportunities available to today's women. These intrepid and ambitious individuals—among them a film director, a cook, an architect, an editor, an archaeologist, and a race car driver—left the house, discovered the bliss of work, and ushered in the era of the working woman.Daring and independent, these remarkable, unsung heroines—whose obscurity makes their accomplishments all the more astonishing and relevant—loved passionately, challenged men's control, made their own mistakes, and took life on their own terms, breaking new ground and offering inspiration. Their individual portraits gradually form a landscape of 1950s culture, and of women's unique—and rapidly evolving—role.Before there could be a Danica Patrick, there had to be a Sheila van Damm; before there was Barbara Walters, there was Nancy Spain; before Kathryn Bigelow came Muriel Box. The pioneers of Her Brilliant Career forever changed the fabric of culture, society, and the workforce. This is the Fifties retold: vivid, surprising, and, most of all, modern.