Mad Women: Book summary and reviews of Mad Women by Jane Maas

Mad Women

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

by Jane Maas

Mad Women by Jane Maas X
Mad Women by Jane Maas
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2012
    272 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

What was it like to be an advertising woman on Madison Avenue in the 60s and 70s - that Mad Men era of casual sex and professional serfdom? A real-life Peggy Olson reveals it all in this immensely entertaining and bittersweet memoir.

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.   Fans of the show are dying to know how accurate it is: was there really that much sex at the office? Were there really three-martini lunches? Were women really second-class citizens? Jane Maas says the answer to all three questions is unequivocally "yes." Her book, based on her own experiences and countless interviews with her peers, gives the full stories, from the junior account man whose wife almost left him when she found the copy of Screw magazine he'd used to find "a date" for a client, to the Ogilvy & Mather's annual Boat Ride, a sex-and-booze filled orgy, from which it was said no virgin ever returned intact. Wickedly funny and full of juicy inside information, Mad Women also tackles some of the tougher issues of the era, such as unequal pay, rampant, jaw-dropping sexism, and the difficult choice many women faced between motherhood and their careers.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A bracing and consistently engaging look at the realities behind the fetishized nostalgia of Mad Men. Funny and informative, with the kick of a dry martini." - Kirkus Reviews

"Maas mixes personal stories with advertising history, making this a compelling read." – Publishers Weekly

"Don't be misled by the title: this book is far more than an overdue antidote to the fantasy ad world of Mad Men: under the guise of a Madison Avenue memoir, Jane Maas slips in a shrewd and witty first-hand sociocultural history of America in the sixties and the seventies from a woman's point of view. A smart, funny, irreverent woman." – Bruce McCall, New Yorker writer and cover illustrator

"I read Mad Women in one delicious gulp. This is a terrific book, full of humor and information about the Mad Men - and women - of the world of the 1960s. Written by Jane Maas, one of the great ladies of advertising." - Patricia Bosworth, author of Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman

"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

"Jane reminds us that the challenge of being a good wife, a nurturing mother and a successful professional, all at the same time, still remains. In this respect, we are all Mad Women." - Shelly Lazarus, Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather

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Author Information

Jane Maas

Jane Maas began her career at Ogilvy & Mather as a copywriter in 1964 and rose to become a creative director and agency officer. Ultimately, she became president of a New York agency. A Matrix Award winner and an Advertising Woman of the Year, she is best known for her direction of the "I Love New York" campaign. 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.

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