"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"--Provided by publisher.
Jane Maas has some great stories. She writes in a very conversational style, almost stream of consciousness at times. One memory will remind her of another memory. At times, this works well and at times it makes the transitions and flow awkward. She is not afraid to drop names which is awesome – I don’t necessarily respect discretion in a memoir – I want specifics and dirt!
Jane was a high ranking advertising executive with a fairly progressive husband and a full-time live-in housekeeper/nanny to help her raise her two daughters. Therefore, her life was quite different from a secretary’s life during this era. Naturally this book is focused on what life was like for her and the handful of female executives like her. There is a little information on what it was like for the girls in the typing pool but not much.
Jane mentions the TV show Mad Men a few times, usually to point out an inaccuracy, which I appreciated. This book was published after the fourth season so only examples from the first four seasons are used.
This was a very quick read as it’s only a little over 200 pages long with fairly large font. Reading it was an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon and I liked learning more about the world of 1960s advertising.