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Mad Men Unbuttoned: A Romp Through 1960s America

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Mad Men Unbuttoned is a visually arresting celebration of the cultural and artistic ephemera of the 1960s advertising age, the Mad Men era. Based on the popular blog, Mad Men Unbuttoned “nails the 1960s and the ad industry during this fascinating era,” and is “a good, fast, joyful read.” (Nina DiSesa, Chairman, McCann New York).


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Mad Men Unbuttoned is a visually arresting celebration of the cultural and artistic ephemera of the 1960s advertising age, the Mad Men era. Based on the popular blog, Mad Men Unbuttoned “nails the 1960s and the ad industry during this fascinating era,” and is “a good, fast, joyful read.” (Nina DiSesa, Chairman, McCann New York).

30 review for Mad Men Unbuttoned: A Romp Through 1960s America

  1. 5 out of 5

    Evanston Public Library

    Ok, I admit it--I'm hooked on the TV series Mad Men. The Emmy-winning show offers a look back to what my life was like. Well, only in my imagination. Actually, I was just a pre-teenager, had never even been near New York city, was never, ever going to be able to fill out a dress like Joanie, and nobody I knew drank martinis. Let's just say I wished my life was that glamorous having not yet had my consciousness raised as far as attitudes towards women were concerned. In her sharply written, savvy Ok, I admit it--I'm hooked on the TV series Mad Men. The Emmy-winning show offers a look back to what my life was like. Well, only in my imagination. Actually, I was just a pre-teenager, had never even been near New York city, was never, ever going to be able to fill out a dress like Joanie, and nobody I knew drank martinis. Let's just say I wished my life was that glamorous having not yet had my consciousness raised as far as attitudes towards women were concerned. In her sharply written, savvy overview of the era, Vargas-Cooper gives fans of the show the footnotes that flesh out the zeitgeist, and she delivers them with a surprising amount of depth. She introduces us to the real "mad men" behind the show's characters; explains the aesthetic principles and trends of the fashions and décor; and reveals the evolution of the ads themselves and how various campaigns were developed. She also explores the shifting times and the looming collision of the Brooks Brothers suits with the torn jeans and ragged t-shirts that is alluded to in some episodes. Having grown up during that period, and having been both a preppie co-ed and hippie protestor, I love stuff about the 60s. Throw in my 15-year career in advertising, albeit in Chicago not New York, and you can understand why I get such a kick out of the show. Having this book as a companion to the show just increased my enjoyment. For those who lived through it and those whose parents did, here is a great choice for those who wish to delve into this fascinating era. In a wonderful instance of synchronicity, my daily calendar offered this quote on the very day I finished the book: "Whoever controls the media--the images--controls the culture." Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), poet, activist, outspoken critic of the Establishment, member of the New York Beats in the late 50s and early 60s. How apt. (Barbara L., Reader's Services)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Juneko Robinson

    This book is designed to be a fun and rather brief romp through the historical tidbits that form the backdrop to the popular TV series Madmen. However, I found myself wanting just a bit more. Some of the articles end far too abruptly and seem hurried and unfinished, while a few pieces written by the author (who is a freelance magazine writer) contain details that are of dubious historical accuracy. The better-written pieces are by the various guest authors. All in all, its a book filled with eye This book is designed to be a fun and rather brief romp through the historical tidbits that form the backdrop to the popular TV series Madmen. However, I found myself wanting just a bit more. Some of the articles end far too abruptly and seem hurried and unfinished, while a few pieces written by the author (who is a freelance magazine writer) contain details that are of dubious historical accuracy. The better-written pieces are by the various guest authors. All in all, its a book filled with eye candy, but those who are searching for something just a tiny bit more substantive will likely be disappointed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    This included essays and pictures tying Mad Men to its real life counterparts in advertising, style, etc, which is such a fun idea. But the end result was uneven - many of the essays were a single page long, which is fine, except they felt like the editor just chopped off whatever didn't fit instead of actually concluding them. Also, this is great because it gives even more context to the show and characters, but I disagreed with pretty much all of the author's views on the characters. Many time This included essays and pictures tying Mad Men to its real life counterparts in advertising, style, etc, which is such a fun idea. But the end result was uneven - many of the essays were a single page long, which is fine, except they felt like the editor just chopped off whatever didn't fit instead of actually concluding them. Also, this is great because it gives even more context to the show and characters, but I disagreed with pretty much all of the author's views on the characters. Many times, this was because she didn't put the characters into the very context she was writing about, but viewed them through a 2010 lense. Baffling. I also wish all of the pictures had had tags describing them, instead of just a handful. This was super fun, but could have been way better.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    3.5, rounding up because I got out of this the main things I desire from nonfiction: knowledge, delivered engagingly. The added context to some of the cultural and ad industry references in the show (like Don mentioning Koenig in light of seeking a copy/art duo to hire) were interesting! That said, as other reviews have mentioned, the entries in this book are quite short and end abruptly, right when you think they're just getting going. It's like reading an article online that turns out to be a p 3.5, rounding up because I got out of this the main things I desire from nonfiction: knowledge, delivered engagingly. The added context to some of the cultural and ad industry references in the show (like Don mentioning Koenig in light of seeking a copy/art duo to hire) were interesting! That said, as other reviews have mentioned, the entries in this book are quite short and end abruptly, right when you think they're just getting going. It's like reading an article online that turns out to be a preview, with the rest behind a paywall. Or maybe like reading a timed essay -- like the author only got 5 minutes per section before her editor confiscated it to force her onto the next. The guest essays are not quite as rough. I liked this book: I just want more of it. Maybe a new, expanded edition? A second volume? There's not even an epilogue/conclusion to wrap everything up at the end! This is the final sentence of the book before the Acknowledgements page: "There were stories [fictional mainly in this statement] of newly liberated couples mingling at desert soirees, older women usurped by their husband's [sic] young lover, or scared nice girls making 'helpless fools of themselves' inside a divorce colony on a terrifying frontier." Most of that page is a photo of a Joshua tree, pushing this final statement to the very bottom of the page, and again, the page after this is for acknowledgment. Very weak way to conclude a book! This book was published while Mad Men was still in production, so there's further culture points in the arc of the show that could be included, or would add additional perspective on the selected topics (e.g. adding closeted ladder-climber Bob to the discussion of homosexuality, or looking at Peggy's and Abe's "homesteading" gentrification venture, let alone the acceleration in drug culture beyond Mother's Little Helpers and pot -- LSD, obviously, but also the "vitamin" injection the SCDP men get from a quack doctor in one episode). I wish all the images had gotten explanatory captions. Most are self-explanatory as a mood-setter, but a short note would still be interesting. A couple (with captions) I would have loved longer notes for, e.g. the abortion client on a stretcher being carried out by police, the soldier looking at the "VD Hall of Fame" filled with women's mugshots. Sources: I appreciated the footnotes in a recognizable mode of Chicago Style. Wish there were a bibliography page to collect all the sources in one spot. Looking back, however, I realize only the quotes got these attributions (and occasionally the citations are narrative) -- UGH. I get it, it's not an academic book, BUT STILL. Major pet peeve, especially because this becomes a very common student flub they have to be trained out of (since officially that's a form of plagiarism in the ivory tower), made worse by the fact that, again, there's no bibliography to note what other sources were consulted. Sigh. As I tell students, citations add authority to your claims! Why would you forego them, especially in a book or digital media that's not strictly limited to a word count?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sjcapanna

    I saw this at the library and thought it might be fun to read during the long, long break between Mad Men seasons. The book presented itself as an in-depth look at trends in fashion, literature, advertising, the workforce, film, and decorating of the 1960s. Well, about half of the book was that. I enjoyed that part a lot, and there were some interesting pictures. (This book was essentially half pictures, and I'm almost embarrassed to count is an actual book on my Goodreads.) The part of the book I saw this at the library and thought it might be fun to read during the long, long break between Mad Men seasons. The book presented itself as an in-depth look at trends in fashion, literature, advertising, the workforce, film, and decorating of the 1960s. Well, about half of the book was that. I enjoyed that part a lot, and there were some interesting pictures. (This book was essentially half pictures, and I'm almost embarrassed to count is an actual book on my Goodreads.) The part of the book I didn't like were the attempts to over-analyze the happenings and characters of the show itself. I am so sick of these pseudo-academic-sounding treatises on the symbolism of Mad Men, because that is a vein that has been over-tapped. It's a TV show, people. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, though I guess in the case of Mad Men a cigarette would be more appropriate.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Steven Pattison

    A nice companion book to the show all about the real style, culture, design, business and counter-culture era behind Mad Men. This is a slick book with aterrific layout that features some great circa 60's photos and illustrations(including a few from memorable past ad campaigns) But as a read it's brief and possibly not as thorough as it could be, not sure what it's missing but seemed to be lite on the specifics on what really makes the show so unusual and original. The the first chapter about t A nice companion book to the show all about the real style, culture, design, business and counter-culture era behind Mad Men. This is a slick book with aterrific layout that features some great circa 60's photos and illustrations(including a few from memorable past ad campaigns) But as a read it's brief and possibly not as thorough as it could be, not sure what it's missing but seemed to be lite on the specifics on what really makes the show so unusual and original. The the first chapter about the real life advertising shops of the early 60's was great - it includes some fascinating info on ad icon Leo Burnett as well as the real life Don Draper (Draper Daniels) who was the man behind the Marlboro Man campaign

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Rolph

    Features 1960s history/culture as it specifically relates to Mad Men -- so fashion in the 1950s and '60s and why Joan's dresses are different from Betty's, for example. Or some history about the real-life versions of Don Draper. Or why Pete Campbell dresses like such a preppy little jerk. The problem is this book only spends two pages at the most on each of those topics, so what you end up with is a really brief introduction to something that sounds like it might be interesting, and then it ends Features 1960s history/culture as it specifically relates to Mad Men -- so fashion in the 1950s and '60s and why Joan's dresses are different from Betty's, for example. Or some history about the real-life versions of Don Draper. Or why Pete Campbell dresses like such a preppy little jerk. The problem is this book only spends two pages at the most on each of those topics, so what you end up with is a really brief introduction to something that sounds like it might be interesting, and then it ends. An entire book of that.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan

    The book takes a brief look at the real life background for various aspects of Mad Men. Topics covered include the design trends that influenced the sets, books characters were seen reading, biographical sketches of the actual 1960s American ad men, and the social context around women's issues like Peggy getting birth control pills and Betty wanting an abortion. This was interesting, but everything is dealt with so briefly that you almost have to view it as a bibliography, and you can go on to l The book takes a brief look at the real life background for various aspects of Mad Men. Topics covered include the design trends that influenced the sets, books characters were seen reading, biographical sketches of the actual 1960s American ad men, and the social context around women's issues like Peggy getting birth control pills and Betty wanting an abortion. This was interesting, but everything is dealt with so briefly that you almost have to view it as a bibliography, and you can go on to look at some of the author's sources if you're interesting in learning more. I felt the section on fashion was particularly short, so here's a tip: if you want a deep dive into the clothing of Mad Men, go read all the posts tagged "Mad Style" at Tom & Lorenzo's blog.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John Marr

    Loved the series, excited by the book, hugely disappointed by the reading. It starts out well enough with some decent pieces on the '60s advertising and some of the real-world characters who were grist for MM's writers. But things go downhill rapidly. Many of the remaining pieces are strangely brief and truncated. Perhaps they had their genesis as bad blog posts? Whatever. Gets an extra star for the generous supply of pretty pictures. Loved the series, excited by the book, hugely disappointed by the reading. It starts out well enough with some decent pieces on the '60s advertising and some of the real-world characters who were grist for MM's writers. But things go downhill rapidly. Many of the remaining pieces are strangely brief and truncated. Perhaps they had their genesis as bad blog posts? Whatever. Gets an extra star for the generous supply of pretty pictures.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Meh. I picked it up in the library because it looked interesting, but it wasn’t much. Put it in the bathroom and read a page here and there - maybe then it would seem better.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Emilia Hopkins

    Very educational!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sam Still Reading

    I like sales. I probably wouldn’t have been as happy with this book had I picked it up at full price. But for $5, it was an interesting insight into the life and times of the 1960s, when one of my favourite television shows, Mad Men, was set. I need to warn you though before you click the ‘Buy Now’ button, that this book does not contain any photos of Don Draper. Yes, that’s right. A book about a television programme minus gratuitous pictures of the rather lovely looking male main character, nor I like sales. I probably wouldn’t have been as happy with this book had I picked it up at full price. But for $5, it was an interesting insight into the life and times of the 1960s, when one of my favourite television shows, Mad Men, was set. I need to warn you though before you click the ‘Buy Now’ button, that this book does not contain any photos of Don Draper. Yes, that’s right. A book about a television programme minus gratuitous pictures of the rather lovely looking male main character, nor pictures of any other character for that matter. Why? I suspect the answer to the above question is because this is more a ‘fan’ book than a licenced Mad Men book. In fact, the author makes reference to how much she enjoys the show in the acknowledgements and thanks the series creator. But be wary, this book is a collection of short essays about fashions, manners, pop culture and advertising of the 1960s. It links in written format to events and characters in Mad Men, but there are no pictures of the show. Pictures of 1960s advertising campaigns, yes, but none of Joan’s fashions or Betty’s hairstyles. Is that such a bad thing? It might be for some fans, but once I realised this was an in-depth look at the life and times of the characters – what they read and what influenced them, I enjoyed it. It would also work for a non-Mad Men fan too who simply wanted to know what life was like for the average American during the early 1960s. Each essay is fairly short and can be read as a standalone piece, or as part of the major chapters, or from cover to cover. The writing style is easy-going and references pertinent points in case you’d like to delve further. The pictures included give the reader more insight into the real world of the 1960s (e.g. book covers, movie posters). It’s not Don Draper Illustrated, but it’s interesting for those of us who analyse every movement of the series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    I picked this up because I am currently in the middle of my all too familiar Mad Men fever in the weeks leading up to a new season. I actually didn't know this book existed at all until very recently, despite the fact that it came out in 2010. It is a collection of essays, ostensibly using the show as a jumping off point, about culture, art, society in general during the 1960s. I think I was expecting it to be a lot more about the actual show than it was but that was probably my fault. Although I picked this up because I am currently in the middle of my all too familiar Mad Men fever in the weeks leading up to a new season. I actually didn't know this book existed at all until very recently, despite the fact that it came out in 2010. It is a collection of essays, ostensibly using the show as a jumping off point, about culture, art, society in general during the 1960s. I think I was expecting it to be a lot more about the actual show than it was but that was probably my fault. Although I learned quite a bit about the world in which Mad Men takes place, especially in terms of advertising history, I wasn't all that impressed with the writing and I felt that this could have been just written about the 1960s in general without any ties to the characters or storylines on the show. In fact, every time the author tried to make the connection to the show, it seemed forced and a lot of what she writes about doesn't really have that much to do directly with the show. After awhile it felt a bit like reading someone's college thesis. Not that there's anything wrong with that but I don't know that this needed to be a book at all. It looks good though. The accompanying photos and artwork and the physical style of the book are attractive, glossy. I think Don Draper would have been able to sell this.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jory

    I'm not a history buff whatsoever, but when a book is tied into something that I actually interested in, I'll give it a shot. Mad Men Unbuttoned is just that. Mad Men is one of my favorite television shows, so when I saw this at the library I knew I had to give it a try. Natasha Vargas-Cooper basically explains things that are mentioned from the television series, ie: books that characters have read, what the fashions were like, and of course a look at the events that shaped the time. She doesn' I'm not a history buff whatsoever, but when a book is tied into something that I actually interested in, I'll give it a shot. Mad Men Unbuttoned is just that. Mad Men is one of my favorite television shows, so when I saw this at the library I knew I had to give it a try. Natasha Vargas-Cooper basically explains things that are mentioned from the television series, ie: books that characters have read, what the fashions were like, and of course a look at the events that shaped the time. She doesn't really dive into the characters of the show, which would have been an interesting look on everything discussed. She does explain, however, how the information in the book is tied into the show which I found interesting. I did enjoy the book, but I would have loved to see more information on the advertising agencies and the ad men that shaped how advertising works today. She only wrote about 20 pages, and they weren't very descriptive. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to find books on advertising in the 60s. All in all, this is a good read for the pop culture enthusiast who would like to more on about the time a television show/movie is loosely based off of.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Mad Men Unbuttoned is a fun and thoughtful book. It provides arguably enough analysis, research, or argument behind an aspect of the show while also keeping that section concise and approachable. I also enjoyed the book's organization and its vast array of discussion topics (ad men, style, women's employment, sex, "smoking, drinking, drugging," decor, film, and literature.) Although the book reiterated points I was familiar with--such as the popular literature and film that the Mad Men draws fro Mad Men Unbuttoned is a fun and thoughtful book. It provides arguably enough analysis, research, or argument behind an aspect of the show while also keeping that section concise and approachable. I also enjoyed the book's organization and its vast array of discussion topics (ad men, style, women's employment, sex, "smoking, drinking, drugging," decor, film, and literature.) Although the book reiterated points I was familiar with--such as the popular literature and film that the Mad Men draws from, or how the women's liberation movement fits into the show--it specifically grounded those issues, people, or items, often while also providing related illustrations to underscore some point. Recommended for even casual fans of the show: it serves as an attractive coffee table book while also working as an engaging text.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    It was interesting to read about the historical and societal underpinnings of Mad Men, but I wish there'd been more facts and less pretentious and overdone commentary about the meaningfulness of events and actions in the show. E.g. When talking about the 1960s shift from teachers as authority figures to teachers as mentors and caregivers: "Suzanne softened those cold columns of long division on the chalkboard with some touchy-feelyness." Ech. Also, note that while the book contains many pictures, It was interesting to read about the historical and societal underpinnings of Mad Men, but I wish there'd been more facts and less pretentious and overdone commentary about the meaningfulness of events and actions in the show. E.g. When talking about the 1960s shift from teachers as authority figures to teachers as mentors and caregivers: "Suzanne softened those cold columns of long division on the chalkboard with some touchy-feelyness." Ech. Also, note that while the book contains many pictures, none are from the show itself. References abound to events, places, ad campaigns, and characters from the show, however, so if, like me, it has been a while since you watched an episode, you may find yourself working overtime trying to recall the cut of Peggy's dresses in season 1.

  17. 5 out of 5

    BookChampions

    This is more of a stroll than a romp. Some of the sections, particularly the ones on the history of advertising, sexuality and literature, were pretty fascinating but I wish these were longer. Others, like decor and fashion, couldn't build up enough intrigue to make we want to read them fully. So this is a pretty hit-and-miss compilation, but it was generally enjoyable since Mad Men is, hands down, the best TV show ever. There should have been a little more analysis of the show built in throughou This is more of a stroll than a romp. Some of the sections, particularly the ones on the history of advertising, sexuality and literature, were pretty fascinating but I wish these were longer. Others, like decor and fashion, couldn't build up enough intrigue to make we want to read them fully. So this is a pretty hit-and-miss compilation, but it was generally enjoyable since Mad Men is, hands down, the best TV show ever. There should have been a little more analysis of the show built in throughout the book, but there were a few insights. That book has yet to be written. But this one did give me a few epiphanies about visual rhetoric for my English classroom, and so that is much appreciated.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    I love this show -- it's a visual feast, the writing is sublime, and overall, I continue to be surprised. It makes a point in history come alive. It's so easy to look at it with 2010 eyes, but the trick is to look at it with sixties eyes as well. This book does a bit along that way. I love Tom & Lorenzo's Project Rungay posts about the show and its fashion -- it gives such a fantastic context to the look of it all. But this is an interesting book for other elements -- sex education pamphlets, fo I love this show -- it's a visual feast, the writing is sublime, and overall, I continue to be surprised. It makes a point in history come alive. It's so easy to look at it with 2010 eyes, but the trick is to look at it with sixties eyes as well. This book does a bit along that way. I love Tom & Lorenzo's Project Rungay posts about the show and its fashion -- it gives such a fantastic context to the look of it all. But this is an interesting book for other elements -- sex education pamphlets, for example. There's so much under the surface, and not having been there myself, it's nice to get this extra element of education. In such a stylish package, too.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tracie

    I will openly confess that I am addicted to "Mad Men". The sets, the clothing, the style, the characters--everything is expertly crafted and true to the era. This book confirms that statement. Vargas-Cooper's look into the mores, styles, and social complexities of the MadMen era is fascinating--and fun! And, the inside look at the fathers of modern advertising--Burnett, Ogilvy, Koenig, and the like, incited a major "geek out" event for me. I might just have to re-watch the first six seasons, just I will openly confess that I am addicted to "Mad Men". The sets, the clothing, the style, the characters--everything is expertly crafted and true to the era. This book confirms that statement. Vargas-Cooper's look into the mores, styles, and social complexities of the MadMen era is fascinating--and fun! And, the inside look at the fathers of modern advertising--Burnett, Ogilvy, Koenig, and the like, incited a major "geek out" event for me. I might just have to re-watch the first six seasons, just to catch the references. And, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) has absolutely nothing to do with that...task!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    I ended up being somewhat disappointed by this one since I expected more depth along with historical and cultural details about the 1960s as they related to the TV show. Each topic is only briefly discussed in a page or two, and there are lots of images and graphics as accompaniment. As soon as I settled into one topic, its segment was over. The breezy coverage (I suppose it's a "romp" after all) undermines the book's potential. Nevertheless, there still were plenty of interesting things to lear I ended up being somewhat disappointed by this one since I expected more depth along with historical and cultural details about the 1960s as they related to the TV show. Each topic is only briefly discussed in a page or two, and there are lots of images and graphics as accompaniment. As soon as I settled into one topic, its segment was over. The breezy coverage (I suppose it's a "romp" after all) undermines the book's potential. Nevertheless, there still were plenty of interesting things to learn from it about this decade.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    This book may not, in fact, be for those who think Mad Men is just an interesting TV show. There may be no hope for those who continue to miss the astute social commentary and examination that Mad Men offers to its viewers. And while we all know (or tell ourselves how much we know) that advertising manipulates the masses, we consistently fail to see how we, as individuals, are also part of those masses.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brook Bakay

    It's good but left me wanting more. As in the show, I really got into the Ad campaigns themselves, and wanted to learn more about the thinking behind them. There is a chapter on that, but just one, and a lot more on life in the early sixties. It is very good for pointing out references in the show that I missed when I watched it. It's a fast read, and you'll feel cool doing it. Now to find a book on the history of advertising. It's good but left me wanting more. As in the show, I really got into the Ad campaigns themselves, and wanted to learn more about the thinking behind them. There is a chapter on that, but just one, and a lot more on life in the early sixties. It is very good for pointing out references in the show that I missed when I watched it. It's a fast read, and you'll feel cool doing it. Now to find a book on the history of advertising.

  23. 5 out of 5

    TrumanCoyote

    Generally fun throughout, although got a bit overbearing and waspish (not to mention sententious) in places, especially toward the end, when it came to resemble one of those alternative weekly throwaways, the kind where all the writers know everything and nobody else really gives a damn what they have to say. Still, enjoyed the "romp through [early] 1960s America." I've never seen the show btw, which did lead to a few confusions. Generally fun throughout, although got a bit overbearing and waspish (not to mention sententious) in places, especially toward the end, when it came to resemble one of those alternative weekly throwaways, the kind where all the writers know everything and nobody else really gives a damn what they have to say. Still, enjoyed the "romp through [early] 1960s America." I've never seen the show btw, which did lead to a few confusions.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I believe this book has covered three seasons (I'm not sure about the fourth, but I've watched Seasons 1, 2 + 5 so my attitude towards spoilers have been YOLO). The beginning of the book was more promising; I thought that the influences behind the characters were interesting. However, overall the book seems to just glaze over topics that are shown in Mad Men and not go into depth. Unfortunately, it falls short of a good behinds-the-scene source. I believe this book has covered three seasons (I'm not sure about the fourth, but I've watched Seasons 1, 2 + 5 so my attitude towards spoilers have been YOLO). The beginning of the book was more promising; I thought that the influences behind the characters were interesting. However, overall the book seems to just glaze over topics that are shown in Mad Men and not go into depth. Unfortunately, it falls short of a good behinds-the-scene source.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    As a Mad men fan, I find it fun to find books that add a bit of dimension to my viewing, especially of they can shed light on the era, the people, or the fashions. This book succeeds in all those ways, offering essays on everything from influential ad-men of that time, to information about interior design, to explanations of the books characters have read. It's a superficial treatment of several subjects, but it is just enough reading to get you immersed in the 60s. As a Mad men fan, I find it fun to find books that add a bit of dimension to my viewing, especially of they can shed light on the era, the people, or the fashions. This book succeeds in all those ways, offering essays on everything from influential ad-men of that time, to information about interior design, to explanations of the books characters have read. It's a superficial treatment of several subjects, but it is just enough reading to get you immersed in the 60s.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Richard Gartee

    This book is a collection of 1-2 page essays, old photos and actual ads from the period covered by the Mad Men TV series. It takes character traits and incidents from the series and explains the 1950s and 1960s attitudes that substantiate them. A fan of Mad Men, the author shows us mainly how accurate the shows writers were. I found it interesting, but it's brief articles make it closer to an illustrated book of factoids. This book is a collection of 1-2 page essays, old photos and actual ads from the period covered by the Mad Men TV series. It takes character traits and incidents from the series and explains the 1950s and 1960s attitudes that substantiate them. A fan of Mad Men, the author shows us mainly how accurate the shows writers were. I found it interesting, but it's brief articles make it closer to an illustrated book of factoids.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Larry

    Cute and fun. Sprightly writing and fascinating, particularly when it was explicating things I didn't already know, like the real-life movers and shakers of 60s advertising and their theories of the best approach. It's basically a website dump, but if you're obsessed with Mad Men, it's a compelling website. The material does tend to concentrate more on the first season or two. Cute and fun. Sprightly writing and fascinating, particularly when it was explicating things I didn't already know, like the real-life movers and shakers of 60s advertising and their theories of the best approach. It's basically a website dump, but if you're obsessed with Mad Men, it's a compelling website. The material does tend to concentrate more on the first season or two.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I'm a huge fan of Mad Men (one of the few scripted tv shows I watch anymore) and I'm fascinated by American cultural and social history, so this book seemed like a natural. It was a fast, breezy read that used the basic structure of Mad Men to illustrate what was going on in 50s and 60s America. I had fun and learned a few things while I was at it. I'm a huge fan of Mad Men (one of the few scripted tv shows I watch anymore) and I'm fascinated by American cultural and social history, so this book seemed like a natural. It was a fast, breezy read that used the basic structure of Mad Men to illustrate what was going on in 50s and 60s America. I had fun and learned a few things while I was at it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    My ranking is probably more like a 3.5 - the book was very entertaining and made me realize how much research must be behind the various 1960's references in the TV show. It wasn't quite a 4 because there isn't a lot of depth - the cultural essays are more like a quickly digested bite than a full meal. My ranking is probably more like a 3.5 - the book was very entertaining and made me realize how much research must be behind the various 1960's references in the TV show. It wasn't quite a 4 because there isn't a lot of depth - the cultural essays are more like a quickly digested bite than a full meal.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    I found this interesting to place Mad Men in a historical context but I didn't find it too well written and I found that the little blurbs often felt incomplete or just hung at the end. It was frustrating as well to see images all throughout the book with no captions -- clearly they went along side the section they were with but one was often unclear of exactly the event or personality. I found this interesting to place Mad Men in a historical context but I didn't find it too well written and I found that the little blurbs often felt incomplete or just hung at the end. It was frustrating as well to see images all throughout the book with no captions -- clearly they went along side the section they were with but one was often unclear of exactly the event or personality.

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