Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Mad Men, Mad World

My "MadMen Creation
The full title of this book is Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s.  It is edited by Lauren M.E. Goodlad, Lilya Kaganovsky, and Robert A. Rushing, and will be published by Duke University Press in March of 2013.

I saw this title while browsing through Net Galley, and since I'm a pretty big fan of the AMC series "Mad Men," I thought I'd like to read it.  Knowing that it was published by a university press, I expected that it would be an academic analysis of the show, but that it would also be of interest to the casual reader. I'm sorry to say that  this was not the case. Occasionally I was able to get past the academic posturing and find interesting ideas and thoughts, but on the whole it was a bit too pedantic for this pedestrian reader.

Each chapter  analyzes different issues raised by the show, focusing mostly on class, race, and gender.  Because each chapter was written by a different contributor I found that there was a lot of overlap of subject matter, and many times the same viewpoint was presented more than once.  

It seems that this book is designed to be a textbook for use in media studies classes; if that's the case I can see that it would be valuable as a background to classroom lectures and discussion.  But for your average, not-too-bright TV fan like me, it was a bit overwhelming. 

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