Howard Gossage was known as "The Socrates of San Francisco." This book is both by and about him and anyone involved in advertising should be thanking Bruce Bendinger for pulling this book together.
Gossage, was a copywriter who emerged in the 50s and 60s. A copywriter with a social conscious who eventually started his own agency and officed in a Firehouse in San Francisco.
He introduced the world to Marshall McLuhan, helped start Friends of the Earth, and was instrumental in a number of other socially aware organizations that emerged in the sixties. He was in many ways the anti-ad man, a writer who frequently used humor to great advantage, poking fun at the products he advertised, and probably can be credited with introducing the idea of using humor as a sales tool in advertising.
Unfortunately, he died in 1969 from leukemia, but his influence lives on in advertising to this day. After this book was published, Howard Gossage was essentially rediscovered and he was named one of the Top 100 Ad People of the Century (20th Century, that is).
If you are involved in creative advertising, read this book. Heck, put it under your pillow and sleep on it. Maybe osmosis actually works.