Mad Women

Mad Women is a tell-all account of life in the New York advertising world of the 1960s and '70s from Jane Maas, a female copywriter who succeeded in the primarily male environment portrayed by the hit TV show Mad Men.

Fans of the show are dying to know how accurate it is: did people really have that much sex in 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. And her book, based on her own experiences and countless interviews with her peers, gives the full stories, from the junior account man whose wife nearly left him when she found the copy of Screw magazine he’d used to find “entertainment” for a client, to the Ogilvy & Mather agency’s legendary annual sex-and-booze-filled Boat Ride, from which it was said no virgin ever returned intact. 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.

LIBRARY JOURNAL  STARRED AUDIO REVEWThe packaging blurb proclaims Maas to be “a real-life Peggy Olson, right out of Mad Men,” but this memoir and exploration of women’s roles in 1960s advertising proves that Maas was far more than the TV character. A major force in many ad campaigns at numerous agencies, Maas provides here an insider’s view of the social, political, gender, censorship, class, and related issues brought up by the popular series—and much the TV audience doesn’t get to see. Her book offers a highly informative and humorous look at not just the advertising industry but the plight and promise of working mothers of the time. VERDICT Coleen Marlo has won multiple audiobook awards for her narrations and along with the author makes the listener want to hear more stories. Essential for collections of history and media and women’s studies for and marketing courses.—Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo