Dennis Fischman'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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Jane Maas has already written her memoirs and her how-to book. This is her riff on TV's Mad Men, and her reminiscences about the era. It's all here: the titillating tales of sex, drinking, travel, and celebrity, and the gritty realities of working for less money than men who were less talented...but still reserved the big-ticket accounts for themselves.

Looking back at it all, Maas is funny and reflective by turns. She can puff herself for the "I Love New York" campaign and deflate herself for ever having agreed to work for Leona Helmsley. ("But don't believe everything you've read about Leona. She was worse than that.")

The most interesting parts of the book to me were her musings about being a white woman who could afford a housekeeper, pushing her way into a man's world. She's skeptical about feminism and droll about the times that NOW attacked ads she'd made for being sexist. At the same time, she thinks they had a point. She looks back and notices all the secretaries and other working women who were invisible to her at the time. She remembers the first black woman who worked with her, and she's honest enough to admit that having "the first" did more for the agency than the agency did for that copywriter and her career.

I liked this book, and I appreciate her attempt to be honest with herself, even if I'm not sure it always succeeds.

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Reading Progress

September 9, 2013 – Started Reading
September 9, 2013 – Shelved as: nonfiction
September 9, 2013 – Shelved
September 10, 2013 – Finished Reading

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