Bantam £12.99 (228pp) £11.69 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Mad Women, By Jane Maas
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books, 2013, and is currently a judge of the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and the Independent Scholastic New Children's Prize 2014.
Friday 09 March 2012
"This book of Jane's is hilarious and so real that anyone infatuated with Mad Men... must buy it", writes Mary Wells Lawrence, the retired advertising executive, in its forward. Shallow ad speak, you may think, but the book actually lives up to the drum-roll.
Maas was among those young female copywriters entering the man's world of American advertising in the 1960s - the real Peggy Olsons. This book is her memoir, and it includes anecdotes from ad execs who worked at Ogilvy & Mather, the agency on which Mad Men is based.
From her sharp memories, it is clear that there was both rampant sex, as well as sexism. Some chapters read like scenes from the TV show, with office parties posing as the biggest threat to fidelity.
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