Mad Men, Mad World

Mad Men, Mad World : Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s

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Since the show's debut in 2007, Mad Men has invited viewers to immerse themselves in the lush period settings, ruthless Madison Avenue advertising culture, and arresting characters at the center of its 1960s fictional world. Mad Men, Mad World is a comprehensive analysis of this groundbreaking TV series. Scholars from across the humanities consider the AMC drama from a fascinating array of perspectives, including fashion, history, architecture, civil rights, feminism, consumerism, art, cinema, and the serial format, as well as through theoretical frames such as critical race theory, gender, queer theory, global studies, and psychoanalysis.In the introduction, the editors explore the show's popularity; its controversial representations of race, class, and gender; its powerful influence on aesthetics and style; and its unique use of period historicism and advertising as a way of speaking to our neoliberal moment. Mad Men, Mad World also includes an interview with Phil Abraham, an award-winning Mad Men director and cinematographer. Taken together, the essays demonstrate that understanding Mad Men means engaging the show not only as a reflection of the 1960s but also as a commentary on the present day.

Contributors. Michael Berube, Alexander Doty, Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Jim Hansen, Dianne Harris, Lynne Joyrich, Lilya Kaganovsky, Clarence Lang, Caroline Levine, Kent Ono, Dana Polan, Leslie Reagan, Mabel Rosenheck, Robert A. Rushing, Irene Small, Michael Szalay, Jeremy Varon
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 157.48 x 233.68 x 27.94mm | 630g
  • North Carolina, United States
  • English
  • 0822354187
  • 9780822354185
  • 1,031,594

Back cover copy

Since the show's debut in 2007, Mad Men has invited viewers to immerse themselves in the lush period settings, ruthless Madison Avenue advertising culture, and arresting characters at the center of its 1960s fictional world. Mad Men, Mad World is a comprehensive analysis of this groundbreaking TV series. Scholars from across the humanities consider the AMC drama from a fascinating array of perspectives, including fashion, history, architecture, civil rights, feminism, consumerism, art, cinema, and the serial format, as well as through theoretical frames such as critical race theory, gender, queer theory, global studies, and psychoanalysis. In the introduction, the editors explore the show's popularity; its controversial representations of race, class and gender; its powerful influence on aesthetics and style; and its unique use of period historicism and advertising as a way of speaking to our neoliberal moment. Mad Men, Mad World includes an interview with Phil Abraham, an award-winning Mad Men director and cinematographer. Taken together, the essays demonstrate that understanding Mad Men means engaging the show not only as a reflection of the 1960s but also as a commentary on the present day.
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Table of contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction / Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Lilya Kaganovsky, Robert A. Rushing 1

Part I. Mad Worlds

1. Maddening Times: Mad Men in Its History / Dana Polan 35

2. Mad Space / Dianne Harris 53

3. Representing the Mad Margins of the Early 1960s: Northern Civil Rights and the Blues Idiom / Clarence Lange 73

4. After the Sex, What? A Feminist Reading of Reproductive History in Mad Men / Leslie J. Reagan 92

5. The Writer as Producer; or, The Hip Figure after HBO / Michael Szalay 111

Part II.Mad Aesthetics

6. The Shock of the Banal: Mad Men's Progressive Realism / Caroline Levine 133

7. Mod Men / Jim Hansen 145

8. Swing Skirts and Swinging Singles: Mad Men, Fashion, and Cultural Memory / Mabel Rosenheck 161

9. Against Depth: Looking at Surface through the Kodak Carousel / Irene V. Small 181

10. "It Will Shock You How Much This Never Happened": Antonioni and Mad Men / Robert A. Rushing 192

Part III. Made Men

11. Media Madness: Multiple Identity (Dis)Orders in Mad Men / Lynne Joyrich 213

12. "Maidenform": Masculinity as Masquerade / Lilya Kaganovsky 238

13. History Gets in Your Eyes: Mad Men, Misrecognition, and the Masculine Mystique / Jeremy Varon 257

14. The Homosexual and the Single Girl / Alexander Doty 279

15. Mad Men's Postracial Figuration of a Racial Past / Kent Ono 300

16. The Mad Men in the Attic: Seriality and Identity in the Modern Bablyon / Lauren M. E. Goodlad 320

Afterword. A Change Is Gonna Come, Same as It Ever Was / Michael Berube 345

Appendix A. A Conversation with Phil Abraham, Director and Cinematographer / Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Jeremy Varon, and Carl Lehnen 361

Appendix B. List of Mad Men Episodes 381

Contributors 411

Index 415
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Review quote

"A lot is packed into this volume, and nobody is likely to reach the end feeling shortchanged. . . . This is no giddy fanzine, to be sure, but for folks who take their Mad Men seriously it opens worthwhile paths of inquiry." -- James M. Keller * Santa Fe New Mexican * "An interesting conversation." -- Candace Opper * Bitch * "There is much else in the book that I found interesting and useful in thinking about Mad Men, and I think it will be stimulating to readers outside the ranks of aca fandom." -- Scott McLemee * Inside Higher Ed * "Mad Men, Mad World's brilliance is that it analyzes storylines and characters from completely unexpected angles. . . . These are deeply considered pieces that truly spark intellectual discussion. It's a mad world, indeed, but this book helps to bring some order to the chaos." -- Natalie Papailiou * Shelf Awareness for Readers * "Throughout the book are intelligent discussions dissecting the central themes addressed in the show, such as masculinity and feminism, identity, and race relations and representations. . . . [It] accomplishes the admirable feat of offering considerable critique and examination from a standpoint of admiration and fandom." * Publishers Weekly * "Just as Mad Men charms its viewers by using sex, drugs, snappy banter, and pretty people to make heavy topics (sexism, racism, dreams diffused) palatable, the editors of Mad Men, Mad World trust that some TV glamour will get readers interested in digesting academic theories. It's not wrong. Full of dense, fascinating writing, Mad Men, Mad World, from Duke University Press, takes stock of `sex, politics, style & the 1960s' in a series of essays by academics, theorizing about Mad Men." -- Diana Clarke * Village Voice *
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About Lauren M. E. Goodlad

Lauren M. E. Goodlad is University Scholar, Associate Professor of English, and Director of the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of The Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic: Realism, Sovereignty, and Transnational Experience (forthcoming) and a coeditor of Goth: Undead Subculture, also published by Duke University Press.

Lilya Kaganovsky is Associate Professor of Slavic, Comparative Literature, and Media & Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of How the Soviet Man Was Unmade.

Robert A. Rushing is Associate Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Resisting Arrest: Detective Fiction and Popular Culture.
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Rating details

54 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 20% (11)
4 43% (23)
3 33% (18)
2 4% (2)
1 0% (0)
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