The Real Mad Men by Andrew Cracknell
The Renegades of Madison Avenue and the Golden Age of Advertising

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Advertising is a business rooted in art, an art rooted in business, and it reached its peak in a specific place at a specific time: New York City at the end of the 1950s and through the ’60s.

AMC’s award-winning drama Mad Men has garnered awards for its portrayal of advertising executives. This engaging, insightful narrative reveals, for the first time, the lives and work of the real advertising men and women of that era. Just as portrayed in the series, these creative people were the stars of the real Madison Avenue. Their innate eccentricity, vanity, and imagination meant their behavior and lifestyle was as candid and original as their advertising. They had it and they flaunted it. People like Bill Bernbach, George Lois, Ed McCabe, Mary Wells, Marion Harper, Julian Koenig, Steve Frankfurt, and Amil Gargano, and others, who in that small space, in that short time, created some of the most radical and influential advertising ever and sparked a revolution in the methods, practice, and execution of the business. Including over 100 full-color illustrations, the book details iconic campaigns such as VW, Avis, Alka Seltzer, Benson & Hedges, Polaroid, and Braniff Airways.


About Andrew Cracknell

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Andrew Cracknell served as Executive Creative Director for many major international agencies, on both sides of the Atlantic, for every business category and in every available medium. For this book, he undertook extensive in-depth research and recorded many hours of interviews with the advertising women and men of the era, from secretaries to directors. He also writes regularly for The Financial Times and Campaign magazine. He can usually be found in London, New York, or sailing his boat in the Aegean. Sir John Hegarty was an award-winning art director at Benton and Bowles, London, and later started Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Campaign's Agency of the Year in 1986, 1993, 2003, 2004, and 2005. In 2005, the International Clio Awards awarded John with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in London. Fred Danzig was the executive editor for Ad Age from 1968 to 1995. He is the coauthor of How to be Heard: Making the Media Work for You with Tim Klein and was adjunct instructor at the New School in NYC.
Published February 28, 2012 by Running Press. 224 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Professional & Technical, History. Non-fiction

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Written by a former copywriter working during the Creative Revolution of the 1960s, Cracknell's account of the heyday of advertising—currently being explored on AMC's hit show Mad Men—is a terrific supplement to the show, as well as a primer on the evolution of the industry.

Mar 05 2012 | Read Full Review of The Real Mad Men: The Renegad...


On the 26th of October 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona, a confrontation between eight men ended in a shootout.

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Andrew Cracknell explores how this was the beginning of modern advertising and the methods used to transform this industry.

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