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From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-line Dispatches from the Advertising War [Paperback]

Jerry Della Femina
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
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Book Description

22 July 2010
In 1970 Jerry Della Femina wrote this gossip-filled, insider's account of working on Madison Avenue during the golden age of advertising. It caused a sensation, became a bestseller and established itself as a cult classic. Years later, it inspired the multi-award-winning drama Mad Men.

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From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-line Dispatches from the Advertising War + Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads + Ogilvy on Advertising
Price For All Three: 26.28

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd (22 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847679536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847679536
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Beyond parody and quite brilliant, it's best read after a three-Martini lunch.' GQ Magazine

About the Author

Jerry Della Femina has worked in the advertising industry for over fifty years. He currently runs Della Femina Rothschild Jeary and Partners in New York. He was an advisor on Season One of Mad Men.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Jerry Della Famina, a Madison Avenue Mad Man wrote the book as a promotional effort for his ad agency in 1970. In essence it is very much a self promotional book in the style of Connie Hilton's Be My Guest or closer to home (advertising industry) David Ogilvy's Confessions of an Advertising Man.

As stated on the cover, it really is gossip filled and it very much describes the world of the Mad Men - Series 1-3 [DVD] series. On the other hand it appears to have been written by someone with a severe attention deficit disorder and coherent organisation or a storyline is truly not something you can charge this book with. One can certainly see why David Ogilvy thought the lunatics took over the asylum (referring to people like Della Femina) and I was really left to wonder why the author would find the comment an affront.

So what do you get? The book is certainly entertaining. I am not sure if it works best after a three martini lunch - reading it sober one does start to wonder how many tangents the guy can go off on while trying to tell a story and how often he can contradict himself (with supreme confidence). You get some insight into the advertising business of the 1960s but not nearly of the quality and usefulness of Confessions of an Advertising Man. The odd nugget of useful and informative knowldge transmitted is hard to find and it usually requires a reader already well versed in the industry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Madness of Madison Avenue 23 July 2010
By H. meiehofer VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The title of this book suggests that the reader is going to get lots of laughs, particularly at politically incorrect jokes. This is exactly what the book delivers. In addition it provides an insider's insight into a particular period (the sixties mainly) into the ultimate consumerist industry, namely advertising.

The title actually comes from a cod slogan which the author suggested as a headline in a campaign.

Femina does not produce a consistent picture. He starts by saying that the image of the drunken, pill-popping, bed-hopping "Mad Men" of the advertising industry is a gross exaggeration. He then goes on to tell many anecdotes which almost entirely reinforce this image.

The majority of the book reads as if we are listening to Jerry holding court in his favourite Madison Avenue bar. This is both a strength and a weakness. Whilst this style is mostly engaging, from time to time (just like anyone who holds court in a bar) he does tend to lose the place and ramble off into areas which appear largely irrelevant and even occasionally a bit boring.

Every now and again Femina really does manage to hit the mark. He does this well in his chapter on fear where he describes the insecurities felt by many in the advertising industry; fears which will resonate with many of us in this post credit crunch age.

One area where Femina produces a particularly cogent argument is in the chapter on censorship. Here he adopts a libertarian stance and rails against the controls exerted upon him by the American equivalent of the Advertising Standards Authority and the TV networks.
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Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Jerry Della Famina, a Madison Avenue Mad Man wrote the book as a promotional effort for his ad agency in 1970. In essence it is very much a self promotional book in the style of Connie Hilton's Be My Guest or closer to home (advertising industry) David Ogilvy's Confessions of an Advertising Man.

As stated on the cover, it really is gossip filled and it very much describes the world of the Mad Men - Series 1-3 [DVD] series. On the other hand it appears to have been written by someone with a severe attention deficit disorder and coherent organisation or a storyline is truly not something you can charge this book with. One can certainly see why David Ogilvy thought the lunatics took over the asylum (referring to people like Della Femina) and I was really left to wonder why the author would find the comment an affront.

So what do you get? The book is certainly entertaining. I am not sure if it works best after a three martini lunch - reading it sober one does start to wonder how many tangents the guy can go off on while trying to tell a story and how often he can contradict himself (with supreme confidence). You get some insight into the advertising business of the 1960s but not nearly of the quality and usefulness of Confessions of an Advertising Man. The odd nugget of useful and informative knowldge transmitted is hard to find and it usually requires a reader already well versed in the industry.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Read - How the World of Advertising Really Works
This is a no-holds-barred inside account of the workings of an advertising agency and the whole advertising eco-system as it was back in the 1970s. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Felixport
3.0 out of 5 stars Ramblings...
One would of thought that the Editor could of pulled on the reigns a bit harder and produced a more structured narrative than this book offers...It really is all over the place. Read more
Published 7 months ago by M. W. Salter
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Overview
It is a present it arrived in the quality advertised and promptly. My daughter is enjoying the book and the style of writing.
Published 13 months ago by Mr. I. Swann
3.0 out of 5 stars Mad. Men.
Not having seen Mad Men I wasn't sure what to expect. I hope the television series is more coherent than this mess memoir which isn't unenjoyable but in place difficult to like... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Stuart Burns
3.0 out of 5 stars Promises much but delivers little
Like being buttonholed by your drunk uncle, whom you happen to have bumped into in the pub for the first time in ages, telling you how great he was back in the day and him nudging... Read more
Published 20 months ago by D. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars This book never gets old
I have recommended this book to every young creative person I have ever worked with or mentored. Sadly most of them were unable to read it as it was long out of print. Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2011 by Stanley Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a fine line between confessing and bragging
It doesn't take a marketing expert to work out why this book has been repackaged and re-released. As the supposed inspiration for the rather brilliant Mad Men TV series, it would... Read more
Published on 21 Mar 2011 by L. Holdsworth
3.0 out of 5 stars A good rambling read
As a fan of Mad Men I was keen to read the book that inspired it, and didn't quite get what I had expected. Read more
Published on 20 Jan 2011 by Mr. T. Brandon
3.0 out of 5 stars Some insight into the Mad Men world
I have already admitted to my Mad Men obsession Mad Men - Series 1-3 [DVD]. I think it's one of the best TV dramas ever made, multi-layered and deserving of analysis. Read more
Published on 14 Dec 2010 by purpleheart
4.0 out of 5 stars Critics? Eat your copy...
Forgive me if I find the critical reviews of this book somewhat nonsensical. It does not pretend to be anything other than what it is - which is themed chapters analysing aspects... Read more
Published on 1 Dec 2010 by Andy Millward
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