A Washington Post journalist’s wry but warm and deeply reported exploration of a pop-culture icon on its 100th anniversary, There She Was unfolds on two narrative tracks: The rise and fall of the Miss America pageant, told through the piercing stories of the women who wore the crown through decades of social change and then fought for control of the flailing organization; and the suspense-filled behind-the-scenes story of the quest to win the 2020 title. The book includes a revealing chapter on the late Phyllis George, perhaps the most legendary Miss America of all, and her struggles her skyrocketing fame, from her glass-ceiling-smashing career in broadcasting to her years as Kentucky’s first lady. The author spoke with her before her death as well as her children.
Meet the Author
Amy Argetsinger is an editor for the Style section of The Washington Post, where she has overseen media and political coverage and longform features. A native of Alexandria, Va. and graduate of the University of Virginia, she started her journalism career in Illinois, then joined The Post in 1995, where she covered the Maryland suburbs, higher education and the West Coast before becoming author of the paper’s signature gossip column, The Reliable Source. “There She Was: The Secret History of Miss America” is her first book. She lives in Washington with her husband and daughter.