Evanston Public Library's Reviews > Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the '60s and Beyond

Mad Women by Jane Maas
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's review
Jul 28, 12

bookshelves: nonfiction

So, how accurate is the hugely popular AMC TV series Mad Men? Jane Maas's lively account of that era suggests that the show is pretty good at capturing the zeitgeist of the NY ad world. Maas was that rare breed of "career gal" in the 60s who worked her way up the ranks of some of the top NY agencies (think Peggy from the series). Naturally she has stories galore and tales to tell about the high jinks of her colleagues. Large egos, overly active sex lives, lots of imbibing, and a fair amount of backstabbing was business as usual. As a former ad woman (albeit here in Chicago and for a much tamer in-house advertising department) who began a copy writing career in the 70s, I'm amazed that any work got done. There are snippets of actual advertising lore--how certain campaigns were developed, how she saved a disastrous client presentation by offering the "woman's view" of things, and how brilliant some of her co-workers were. All in all an enjoyable, often hilarious read to augment (or replace, perhaps) the TV show itself.

(Barbara L., Reader's Services)

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