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Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the '60s and Beyond
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Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the '60s and Beyond

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  1,659 Ratings  ·  270 Reviews
"Breezy and salty." -The New York Times

"Hilarious! Honest, intimate, this book tells it as it was." -Mary Wells Lawrence, author of A Big Life (In Advertising) and founding president of Wells Rich Greene

"Breezy and engaging [though] ...The chief value of Mad Women is the witness it bears for younger women about the snobbery and sexism their mothers and grandmothers endured
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Jul 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened
I will keep my stance that the narrarators sharp, quick, clipped, sometimes snooty vocal cadence wore me out while listening to this book. She veers away from the advertising profession and travels down equal rights alleys, and seems to get lost in those alleys.

Maas does a good job of comparing and contrasting her real world 1960's advertising experience to what we see on Mad Men. I can get a flavor for what goes on at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce or the previous Sterling Cooper was realistic
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audiobook and it was really good. The reader had a very silky voice that could put you to sleep. It was interesting to hear the woman's perspective of the Mad Men Show and how it was in advertising in the 60's. We've really come a long way over the last 50 years.
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It took me a long time to get around to watching Mad Men. After 3 weeks of watching at a near addicting pace (Jon Hamm, late nights...sigh)I finished it and experienced a severe case of withdrawal. I need more! Where is season 5, Netflix?!?!?!

Last Tuesday I was browsing through the library and this book reached out and grabbed me! I had to read it, I had to feed this Mad craving for everything having to do with Mad Men!!!

I loved it! I appreciate Jane's realness. She's a careerwoman, a wife and m
Jane Roper
May 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
As a copywriter myself, not to mention a fan of Mad Men, I was really excited to read this book. But I didn't end up finishing it because I just wasn't compelled to do so. The problem for me was that it wasn't really a memoir, just a collection -- in no specific order, just thematically grouped -- of reflections and anecdotes. It's well written enough, and provides some interesting glimpses of what things were like in the 60s for women both in the workplace and at home. But there is no narrative ...more
Jessi Lee Gaylord
Mad Women: What the fuck do you mean “sexual harassment” didn’t exist yet?

I was counting down the days until the new season of Mad Men with my panties in a bunch, when I picked up the book Mad Women by Jane Maas. Maas was both a copywriter and a creative director at Ogilvy & Mather in the penis-slinging hustle of the New York advertising world in the 1960s. The book articulates the agony of ecstasy of a career woman in the misogynistic though mesmerizing world of advertising, but readers, w
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Mar 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Hands down the most disappointing book I have read of 2012. I haven't been this bored with an author in a long time.

I knew who Jane Maas was thanks to the requisite advertising class in my MBA program. Famous for the I Love NY campaign, she is a pioneer in advertising. She worked for David Ogilvy in the 1960s when the ad world was made up of men. Not only was she an account bigwig, she was a working mother. Something almost unheard of in that period.

Maas has the background to weave an interestin
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I thought Mad Women was many things. It was a history lesson, it was a reminder of the advertising campaigns of my youth, it was philosophical, it was a story of the women's working world that I missed by staying home to raise my children, it was entertaining. I couldn't put it down.

After graduating college, I dreamed of being a professional advertising woman. This was like being voyeur in Jane Maas' life.

I appreciated her philosophizing, "Edes Gilbert connects the increasing guild of working mo
Mary Mckenna longford
Jane Maas wore me out with her "Egocentric and I was such a pioneer" prose. I found some of her account of life as a working mother in the '60's interesting but it was all too self congratulatory and self indulgent for my liking. She's derisory at times about women who chose to leave the workforce and raise their children themselves rather than have a stranger do it as if women who chose the second path were trail blazers, too clever to be concerned with domestic responsibilities. Newsflash Jane ...more
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-14
I'm disappointed that there are so few reviews of this book on GoodReads. I was utterly charmed by it.

I love advertising. I think I always have, without realizing it. I vividly remember the first commercial that stuck with me. For those who remember it, all I need to say is, "Cha-ching!"

Who knew that almost 20 years later, I was going to be madly in love with that guy when he played a guitar-playing werewolf.

This book was never boring. I learned more about old ad campaigns, and it only added to
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very riveting look into the world of advertising in the Mad Men era from the perspective of a woman in the industry (who was more than a secretary but of course still often assumed to be one). It refers to the Mad Men series a lot, but I found it wasn't necessary to have seen Mad Men to understand the gist of the author's observation and comparisons. Worthwhile read about NYC advertising life, especially from the perspective of a working woman who admittedly placed her career first, her husband ...more
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It says something, that I read this in one sitting. Fascinating, entertaining, poignant. Whether you're a fan of Mad Men suffering withdrawal, or a fan of women at all, Mad Women is well worth reading.
Caryl Parker
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Super interesting. I now want to read David Ogilvy's book
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have no idea why this memoir doesn't have a higher Goodreads rating. It's a quick, fun, educational trip through the career of Jane Maas in the '60s and '70s, a time when hats, hosiery, and in-office smoking were the norm and women in leadership roles were not. Thank you, Jane, for paving the way and for sharing your story without preaching or pretending you have all the answers. This book is a great read for anyone.
Debbi Mack
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
This is highly enjoyable look back at a time when I was just a child. I've noticed some of the reviews for this book have been shocked at the sexism in it. Unfortunately, that was a harsh reality of that time.

The book has a witty and conversational tone, as if the author is sharing stories with the reader over coffee. I enjoyed learning about her life and the (sometimes awful) realities of being a working woman back then. But it reminded me of how happy I am not to have been raised to think like
Diane Meier
Mar 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
I promised myself that I would only review books worth recommending. What's the point of taking up time telling someone what NOT to read. But this book, I fear, is making me break my rule.

Jane Maas' entry into Advertising came a decade or more before mine. A day closer to the "advertised" Peggy Olsen era of the first season of Mad Men. And for that alone, give the gal a star. It took guts. It wasn't easy 15 years later (it isn't easy now). And -- she was responsible for the I HEART NY campaign.
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Brought to my bedside by my personal librarian in honor of Mad Men's new season, this book was mildly interesting. Not sure why I felt compelled to finish it, but finish it I did. Jane Maas tells of her experience making boatloads of money as a female advertising copywriter ( a la Peggy Olson in the show) who later turns exec. She started in the 60s. Unlike Peggy, she was married and had two schoolage children then. She also had a during-the-week live-in maid/nanny. [It's hard for me to take wom ...more
Fiona Villamor
This book has its moments. I particularly enjoyed the first chapter, but maybe that's only because I love reading about people's routines. For me, that's one of the most integral parts of a person's life: the habits, the day-to-day activities, the morning and evening rhythms.

Other than that, this book doesn't really give much in terms of Jane Maas' life story (I read that she has another biography but this is also packaged as a memoir so I expected more). Overall, I felt like it wasn't "tight" e
Apr 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ‘60s and Beyond by Jane Maas answers all those questions about the television series, “Mad Men.” Yes, it was an era of wine, women and expense accounts for men in the rapidly-growing advertising industry. Yes, working women were not only demeaned, but that was deliberate and socially approved treatment at the time, not only on Madison Avenue, and not only among men. Jane Maas was one of the few women who was twice as bright and willingly ...more
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
I found this remarkably lacking in both substance and new information. There were occasional moments of inspired story-telling, but for the most part it read as if the writer was jumping up and down shouting "Me, too! Me, too! I braved the 60's in advertising, too! Over here!". This might have been better as a collection of stories--truly, some were very interesting--rather than spending so much retreading ground that's been well-covered. We know that it was difficult being a woman in a field do ...more
Joanne Tombrakos
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jane Maas gives a great inside view of what it was like to be not just the real Peggy Olsen, but a women in a man's world at a time when it was far less acceptable to be there. Her easy to read account demonstrates why she achieved such success as a copywriter early on. An important book for any women in business, not just in terms of how far we have come, but how far we have yet to go.
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very entertaining, and definitely opened my eyes on some aspects of advertising in the 60s
Bryan Murphy
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book offers a few insights into the dumbing down of the USA, by one of those responsible.
Jen (Pop! Goes The Reader)
Did you find this review helpful? Find more of my reviews at Pop! Goes The Reader!

“Was it really like that?”
As soon as people find out I actually worked at an advertising agency in the Mad Men era, they pepper me with questions.
“Was there really that much drinking?” “Were women really treated that badly?” And then they lean in and ask confidentially. “Was there really that much sex?”
The answer is yes. And no.”

If you’re anything like me and can never get enough of AMC’s much celebrated, award-w
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Jane was obviously a super-privileged woman in the 60s - she could afford her own full time housekeeper and basically didn't have to worry about what time she got home, what was for dinner, or whether the kids had done their homework - the same as most men of the time really.
So for me, she was't really a trailblazer at all, just somebody who chose to outsource most of her family maintenance to someone else.
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A view into the world of the 60s. Its incredible how much women have progressed in such a short period of time. Jane Maas narrates the stories of the women in the advertising world extremely well, makes it hard to put down.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Review to be posted)
Nov 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Not a strong narrative but some amusing anecdotes. Eye-opening and educational on the experience of being a working woman in the '60s.
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-culture
In response to the highly successful Mad Men series over five seasons (only four aired at the time of writing), Jane Maas steps up to straighten the record from the point of view of a woman who was there. Rising through cast management and copywriting to positions of vice president and president in different agencies, this is a candid account of the times, the people and the work involved in the advertising industry.

While many aspects may seem to be time-locked, Maas points out that some issues
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“Late one night, an account man was having sex with his secretary. He was fairly junior, so his inside office didn't have a door, and the big boss happened to be working late and caught them. The result: the account guy was promoted and got an office with a door; the secretary was fired.” 3 likes
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