I remember well the heyday of Mad Men, especially its early seasons in the late 2000s and early 2010s. My husband and I had a Mad Men-themed engagement party in 2011, where we dressed up like the early 1960s and ate 1960s food. It was a lot of fun. To commemorate the occasion, I had gone to the website Mad Men Yourself and created little posters for each of the guests (it was a small party). That led me to discover Dyna Moe’s book Mad Men: The Illustrated World to display on my coffee table. The heyday is over, as is the show, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had in the book.
Moe’s book is filled with all sorts of interesting tidbits, dark humor, and 60s-themed recipes. Some of the actors on the show even wrote an essay about various trivia—Rich Sommer learned how to tie a bowtie, for example. The illustrations are hilarious and also rich in scope and focus. You become immersed in the culture—the good and the bad alike—and understand some of the trends and mindsets that were du jour.
If you are a fan of the show or the time period, you should definitely check this book out. It’s short but informative and highly entertaining. There is plenty of biting satire to go around, and you will be glad you are not currently living in the 1960s—especially if you are a woman. I know the show has highlighted some of the major issues, even if it’s easy to have the handsomeness of Jon Hamm gaslight you into forgetting what a horrible and small person Don Draper can be at times. [Sidenote: I need to finish the show. I’m several seasons behind, as is my MO with just about everything except The Good Place and Riverdale]
Cross-posted to my blog.