Taschen, Advertising from the Mad-Men era

To be honest with you I have zero interest in the much-discussed Mad-Men series, despite being fascinated by the rise of Western consumerism and the American dream it just doesn’t float my boat. I’m sure it’s brilliant but if I want to see misogynistic Alpha males chain-smoking and knocking back whisky, I’ll go and see my dad.

Though these two incredible volumes from Taschen clearly bare the ‘Mad-men’ moniker in order to draw in the legions of fans of the show, though it doesn’t matter a jot if you’ve never seen the multi-award winning, nicotine flavoured drama. As both books takes the reader on a cosmic and capitalistic journey through the fifties and sixties; a time when cars looked like fairground rides, LSD Technicolors permeated pretty much everything from phones to Vodka bottles, women were still being gloriously objectified, holidays in pre-apartheid Africa were still actually an option and anybody modelling a shirt just had to wear an eye-patch.

From post-war baby booming through to radical draft-burning, there has yet to be a more dramatic period of time in America’s history and it’s all captured here in the most pragmatic and honest art-form there is i.e. advertising. These striking images are all beautifully packaged together in an impressively large two book box-set (one for each decade) that Don Draper himself (who?) would be proud to have adorning his Eames coffee table.

One of the (many) things I love about Taschen is that they could charge a ridiculous fee for a book as impressive and as brimming with info and imagery as this. But rather than do that, they’ve priced it at a very reasonable £34.99 for both books. Meaning you’d be a mad man (or woman) not to get yourself a copy.



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