Mad Men Unbuttoned
A Romp Through 1960s America
By Natasha Vargas-Cooper
(Harper Design, Paperback, 9780061991004, 256pp.)
Publication Date: August 2010
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
Mad Men Unbuttoned, footnotes to the show and the era, including these fascinating tidbits:
- Don Draper's character is based on the real-life Draper Daniels, protÉgÉ of Leo Burnett who started off as a copywriter and rose to creative director, eventually heading the team that launched the Marlboro Man.
- The iconic "Think Small" Volkswagen ad positioned the Beetle as an ugly but well-made cara revolt against excess. Not only did unit sales top 500,000 cars a year, but the campaign succeeded in junking all the rules of car advertising.
- When barred from visiting Disneyland on a trip to the United States, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev threw a tantrum and left Los Angeles in a huff the very next day.
- The Group by Mary McCarthy, the novel Betty Draper is seen reading in the bathtub, transformed the way women viewed love, sex, and marriage.
- In 1947 Christian Dior showcased its revolutionary New Look line. Betty, Peggy, and the rest of the steno pool at Sterling-Cooper can be seen sporting the sloping shoulders, hourglass silhouettes, and billowing skirts of the New Look style.
After graduating from UCLA with a BA in history and working as a union organizer in L.A. and Washington, D.C., for a number of years, Natasha Vargas-Cooper began her writing career as a film critic for E! Entertainment. Her reporting, essays, and interviews have appeared in print and Web publications ranging from the Daily Beast, New York magazine, BlackBook, Gawker, and Interview. She is currently the Los Angeles correspondent for The Awl.
“Possibly the richest of the “Mad Men” books...Mad Men Unbuttoned is a well-versed primer to the most literate show on television.”
-The New Yorker
“Mad Men Unbuttoned is likely to become a trivia-lover’s bible, as well as recommended reading for the inevitable college media-studies courses on this pop-cultural phenomenon.”
-New York Review of Books
“Natasha-Vargas Cooper nails the 1960s and the ad industry during this fascinating era. A good, fast, joyful read.”
-Nina DiSesa, Chairman, McCann New York
“A dazzling pop-culture history of the 1960s. [Natasha Vargas-Cooper’s] zeal for detail is unparalleled. This is an opinionated, sexy history book for those who hate studying.”
“[Vargas-Cooper] focuses on advertising, design, film, literature, politics, sex, style and the workplace in order to probe ‘the most dramatic cultural shift in the 20th century’...the definitive companion book for the series.”
“Mad Men Unbuttoned lends real-life context to the show’s most memorable scenes and references.”
“Mad Men Unbuttoned is like an easy, vibrant reference tool for the thirtysomething, Sixties-obsessed set.”
-Women's Wear Daily
“Mad Men Unbuttoned is a stylishly designed, intelligently written book.”
-The Oregonian (Portland)