Mad Men Withdrawal Cure: Try This

We KNOW you’re going to miss Mad Men but since the Mad Men era demonstrates so much of our political and social history we thought we’d offer you this reading list to get you through until the show returns.  Thanks to Billy Parrott and the New York Public Library for sharing. Comment below with additions, too.

These titles are a great way to gain insight into the episodes and the social and cultural times in which the series is set. Like the set and costume design, the literary choices of the show really add a stamp of authenticity. Dipping into these classics is also a great way to help with withdrawals while waiting for new episodes to air.

Some of the titles are featured prominently in the series and others are mentioned in passing. Remember the book Sally read with her grandfather at bedtime? The book on Japanese culture the agency was told to read? The scandalous book the ladies passed between each other in secret? You can find all these and more!

Also included at the end of the list is a “You might also like” section of related books and movies.

Do you have any favorite Mad Men books or literary quotes from the show? Please share!

For those of you who are not on Twitter here is the current book list:

Meditations in an Emergency – Frank O’Hara
The Best of Everything – Rona Jaffe
Confessions of an Advertising Man – David Ogilvy
Babylon Revisited and Other Stories – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Chrysanthemum and the Sword – Ruth Benedict
Exodus – Leon Uris
Ship of Fools – Katherine Ann Porter
Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D.H. Lawrence
The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
The Agony and the Ecstasy – Irving Stone
The Group – Mary Mccarthy
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – Edward Gibbon

You might also like:

From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor – Jerry Della Femina
Advertising in America: The First 200 Years – Charles Goodrum and Helen Dalrymple
Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates (also check out this great post).
Revolutionary Road – DVD
The 1960s – John Peacock
The Male Mystique: Men’s magazine Ads of the 1960s and ’70s – Jacques Boyreau
A Double Scotch: How Chivas Regal and the Glenlivet Became Global Icons – F. Paul Pacult
Bye Bye Birdie – DVD
Furniture & Interiors of the 1960s – Anne Bony
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit – Sloane Wilson
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit – DVD
Producing Fashion: Commerce, Culture, and Consumers – edited by Regina Lee Blaszczyk

AMC download files
by Billy Parrott, Librarian, Battery Park City Branch, New York Public Library


Walter G.
Walter G7 years ago

Living on a recently typhoon devastated island in the pacific, I never heard of the show. Our RV list includes "Gilligan's island," Victory at Sea, "The running Tide," and a travelogue about various isolated islands where the male natives do nothing much except lounge around imbibing coconut liquor in hammocks all day while waiting for another opportunity to reproduce.

I vote in Florida, and I thought it might have to do with the elections there. Hey! No, I wasn't leaving, get the hell out of my hammock!!!!

Walter G.
Walter G7 years ago

The Mad Men era is diminishing, is it? have you taken a look at our political inmates lately? And if the current crop of mental misfits isn't enough, take a look at some of the out of control hydrophobic creatures campaigning to replace them! The frightening thing is that we have not nearly enough cuckoo's nests to accommodate all of them!

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p7 years ago

never watched the show, don`t have a tv.

Diane Mccarter
Diane Mccarter7 years ago

For all those people who said they never heard of Mad Men , never watched it or think it's a total waste of question is:
why did you bother to read the article and take the time to make a comment. Interesting.
For those that do watch it religiously and love it as much as I question is : Do you think that Don's marriage to Megan
will last or even happen?

David M.
David M.7 years ago


Kay L.
KayL NOFORWARDS7 years ago

It was bad enough living through that era! Why ever would I want to relieve it, even vicariously on TV?

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman7 years ago

Not familiar with this show. More interested in various different Movies

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L7 years ago

Never watched the show...don't care.

Louise C.
Louise C7 years ago

This is one of my most favorite shows. I began working in the mid-60's and the portrayal of the office situations is pretty much right on. Sexual harassment was part of life, hardly any of the men ever got in trouble for it and drinking at the office and office parties was quite commonplace. I love the attention to detail with period clothes, makeup and even the curviness of many of the women (the young women are all so THIN now). The story line included references to items such as the Relax-a-ciser, which I actually owned in the 60's as well as the time line for the Kennedy assasination and Marilyn Monroe's death in 1963. Watching the show is like being back there again and realizing how far we have come since the 60's.

Robert O.
Robert O7 years ago

Heard of it, never watched it.