Mad Men – After The Series, The Book

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Eagerly awaiting the fifth season of AMC TV’s hit series, Mad Men? While show creator Matthew Weiner, the cable channel AMC, and the producing studio Lionsgate seem to be stuck in negotiations, loyal fans continue to wonder what the fifth season will bring. What will happen to Don Draper and his new love interest? What about the agency and Draper’s relationship with copy writer Peggy Olsen? What about her dealings with partner and account executive Pete Campbell? Or what about partner Roger Sterling and his relationship with office manager Joan Holloway Harris?

Well, wait no longer—there is something to bridge the time between seasons besides revisiting older episodes: a new book, simply titled MAD MEN.

On April 26, publishing house I.B. Tauris will release MAD MEN. Edited by Gary Edgerton, Scholar and Chair of the Communications and Theater Arts Department at Old Dominion University in Virginia, this non-fiction book is an academic-yet-engaging read, offering to shed more light onto the appeal and attraction of this television drama series.

MAD MEN, for those who do not know, was created by writer-producer-director Matt Weiner—who previously worked on THE SOPRANOS—and is a character driven television drama series set in the 1960’s. The show features the Madison Avenue ad agency “Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce” and its colorful and complicated principles and staffers. Centered on Creative Director Don Draper, who like everyone else on the show has a flawed character and many secrets to hide, Mad Men has firmly established itself amongst a loyal audience. This fan base, in-turn, has been extremely prolific in writing, analyzing and commenting upon characters and story lines on AMC’s own website, as well as the New York Times’ blogs. 

In fact, MAD MEN is the show that put cable channel AMC on the map, supporting their slogan, “Story Matters Here.” Highly acclaimed by critics and industry professionals alike for its meticulous character studies, excellent writing, thorough historical research and high production value,
the period drama won Golden Globes for Best Drama Series for three consecutive years—from 2008 to 2010.

I.B. Tauris recognized the importance of this program and seized the opportunity by publishing Professor Gary Edgerton’s book. If you like to go beyond the comments of critics and audiences, Edgerton’s book provides a collection of academic writings that further analyze this unique series, focusing on such topics such as race and gender relations, the role of women in the 1960’s, the use of music, and the visual style of the program.

It is certainly helpful to have followed the series to thoroughly enjoy the book, because most articles refer to specific episodes, provocative scenes, and memorable exchanges.
But as the fifth season may not be on the air until the end of 2012, I urge you to follow advice put forth by the NY Times: there is plenty of time for the MAD MEN newbie to start watching reruns, and Edgerton’s book will be the perfect compendium piece to catch up.

For more information on MAD MEN, the book by Prof. Gary Edgerton, please visit: 
http://us.macmillan.com/madmen
And if the book is not enough for you, try some blogs!
http://blogs.amctv.com/mad-men/talk/
http://community.nytimes.com/comments/artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/18/mad-men-watch-a-whole-new-kind-of-cliche/

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About Author

Tanja Meding

Tanja Meding :Since moving to New York from Germany in 2003, Tanja Meding has worked as a producer for Maysles Films and other independent production companies. Amongst others, she produced SALLY GROSS-THE PLEASURE OF STILLNESS by Albert Maysles and Kristen Nutile which aired on WNET/Thirteen and Channel 25 and is now available on DVD from www.reframecollection.org. Since 2007, Tanja has been producing short films by Rosane Chamecki, Andrea Lerner and Phil Harder: JACKIE & JUDY premiered at DANCE ON CAMERA at LINCOLN CENTER was awarded with a PEARL at the POOL 2010 Festival in Berlin. Upcoming this September is a video installation of two new shorts: BOXING and THE COLLECTION at NY's newly opened New York Live Arts building in Chelsea. In addition, Tanja is the co-producer of Gabriella Bier's LOVE DURING WARTIME, a documentary about an Israeli dancer and her Palestinian husband. The film had its US premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival and is distributed in the US through 7th Art Releasing. Furthermore, she is the US co-producer of Pascale Obolo's documentary CALYPSO ROSE, LIONESS OF THE JUNGLE. Currently in development with Claudia Brazzale is RETRACING STEPS, a portrait documentary about a group of international dancers and choreographers and their lives 20 years after they first met in NYC.

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