A look at the philosophical underpinnings of the hit TV show Mad Men.
With its swirling cigarette smoke, martini lunches, skinny ties, and tight pencil skirts, Mad Men is unquestionably one of the most stylish, sexy, and irresistible shows on television. But the series becomes even more absorbing once you dig deeper into its portrayal of the changing social and political mores of 1960s America and explore the philosophical complexities of its key characters and themes. From Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to John Kenneth Galbraith, Milton Friedman, and Ayn Rand, Mad Men and Philosophy brings the thinking of some of history's most powerful minds to bear on the world of Don Draper and the Sterling Cooper ad agency. You'll gain insights into a host of compelling Mad Men questions and issues, including happiness, freedom, authenticity, feminism, Don Draper's identity, and more.
Takes an unprecedented look at the philosophical issues and themes behind AMC's Emmy Award-winning show Mad Men.
Explores issues ranging from identity to authenticity to feminism, and more.
Offers new insights on your favorite Mad Men characters, themes, and storylines.
Mad Men and Philosophy will give Mad Men fans everywhere something new to talk about around the water cooler.
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Extremely Insightful... But VERY Limited
The number ONE thing is that the book only talks about Mad Men up until the end of Season 3... although we know there was ultimately seven seasons. This means that a lot of the essays just end in speculation on the development of the characters, without being able to comment with insight on what actually happens.
This also means that the book is really, REALLY missing some of the pivotal moments later in the show - namely Don's eventual spiritual awakening which makes him the ultimate Mad Man (i.e. that Coke ad), and Roger's search of authenticity after taking LSD.
While the book does make some good points about philosophy, tying some of the characters into ancient and contemporary thinking, some of the essays read like they have been put together by full-time philosophers who have only seen the first few episodes of the show. The first episode, 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes' is referenced approximately a thousand times more than any other episode in the book - although there are better examples of what the writers are trying to convey even in the first three seasons.
This book could have been a timeless commentary if it had actually been written by philosophers who were fans of the show, and they had waited until the show's end to publish. Instead, it comes across as a fast cash-in that simply skims across some of the show's themes.
- Scott Constantine