Frankly, I enjoyed this book more than watching the show. I learned more about old ad campaigns, and it only added to my love for the show Mad Men. Mad Women is a tell-all account of life in the New York advertising world by Jane Maas, a copywriter who succeeded in the primarily male jungle depicted in the hit show Mad Men. I don't think she has a dog in the fight to opine on how other women, working, working mothers, housewives or single workin mothers felt during that time period and if they feel they 'haven't come a long way baby'. There truly aren't many differences. Naturally this book is focused on what life was like for her and the handful of female executives like her. This was like being voyeur in Jane Maas' life.
Were there really three-martini lunches? She is the author of Adventures of an Advertising Woman and co-author of the classic How to Advertise, which has been translated into 17 languages. Oh, and that she'd already held a prestigious position in another industry before entering advertising. Jane Maas says the answer to all three questions is unequivocally yes. It was annoying, to say the least. Fans of the show are dying to know how accurate it is: was there really that much sex at the office? I would like to rest you assure that there is nothing to worry about. Jane asks her about the sex in her office building, and the woman tells her that she most definitely engaged.
Still, the book is written like an ad jiggle, with name-dropping and party-hopping, and I prefer more literary writing when investing my reading time. And if I felt it was dishonest, am I saying that she is dishonest? This is a terrific book, full of humor and information about the Mad Men - - and women - - of the world of the 1960s. Wickedly funny and full of juicy inside information, Mad Women also tackles the tougher issues of the era, such as equal pay, rampant jaw-dropping sexism, and the difficult choice many women faced between motherhood and their careers. Maybe being a family woman and a professional one is mutually exclusive. 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 think that she wanted to tell her life story but at the same time, she also wanted to share the story behind advertising women in the Mad Men era. I really appreciate the fact that the author was honest and didn't embellish things as far as I can tell for the benefit of dramatization. She has every right to try to put into print what that world was like. I was only able to make it through 7% of this book. In the end her words lead me to pen two words: read it.
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. A parallel universe existed for women in business before the feminist era. Was there really that much sex at the office? I contacted support and had a fast reply and a refund. She is quick to admit that having Mabel, her loyal housekeeper and nanny help bring up her two children with motherly love and attention freed her to enjoy her success. Unfortunately, it was this occasional inability to stay on message that prevented this book from receiving a perfect rating, something it might otherwise have rated.
Honest, intimate, this book tells it as it was. One memory will remind her of another memory. 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. 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. Duh, some of it still happens today. Again, I found this entertaining. A smart, funny, irreverent woman.
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. She comes to a rather dour, though not altogether surprising, conclusion that will have readers reflecting upon hours after they have finished reading. 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. Ultimately, she became president of a New York agency. Where is season 5, Netflix?!?!?! Brought to my bedside by my personal librarian in honor of Mad Men's new season, this book was mildly interesting. This book was never boring.
She started in the 60s. Maas relates one experience with a creative director described as Draper-esque and good at his job who harassed her for weeks. This book caught my eye because 1 my husband and I are huge Mad Men fans and 2 my husband is a creative partner at an advertising agency and I like learning more about the industry in which he works. 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 mentions this no fewer than four times.
Jane Maas does a fantastic job taking us up in the elevators to the heady heights of Madison Avenue advertising agency offices of the 1960s, taking us through days spent on couches just thinking, of imbibing huge amounts of alcohol over lunch, of pondering for hours - or weeks - on the power of just one word. 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. Find more of my reviews at! If you're interested in the history of advertising, and not just Hopkins, Caples, Ogilvy, and Reeves, you'll like this book. I couldn't put it down. Those years were a gas, captured perfectly by Jane Maas's funny and bittersweet book. I had to read it, I had to feed this Mad craving for everything having to do with Mad Men!!! It was fun to learn the behind-the-scenes stuff on that one, since unlike many of the ads she mentions, that campaign is obviously very much still around, and still makes an impression. Generally, I think she confirms that the show gets most things right, but cautions that not every agency behaved the same.