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From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War Paperback – July 20, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Brilliant. . .Best enjoyed after a three-martini lunch.” –GQ (UK)

“When there was some debate about whether something was accurate or not, Jerry said 'You're not even close. It was so much worse than what you're seeing on the show.'"

--Matthew Weiner, creator and executive producer of Mad Men (GQ)

“Reads like the transcript of a tape made at a bar or cocktail party with the recorder propped up next to the raconteur at the center of the crowd.” –Salon

“The 'Mad Men' of this book were not mad at all. They were clever and articulate proponents of the American Dream. The book evokes a long-lost era of American self-confidence and optimism, and helps explain how America became a cultural icon.”

Maurice Saatchi, co-founder of Saatchi & Saatchi and M&C Saatchi

About the Author

Jerry Della Femina has worked in the advertising industry for over fifty years, and he was an adviser on the first season of the hit television show Mad Men.

Charles Sopkin (d. 1994), an author, book editor, and publisher, wrote the books Seven Glorious Days, Seven Fun-Filled Nights and Money Talks!

A veteran of stage and screen, Peter Berkrot's career spans four decades, and his voice can be heard on television, radio, video games, and documentaries. He has been nominated for an Audie Award and has received a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards and starred reviews. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (July 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451609906
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451609905
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #718,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book many years ago, but lost my copy and decided to read it again. The humor ( as in "torches for dwarfs") is still sharp, but many references in the book are so dated from the 50's and 60's that they lack relevance, especially for younger readers. Still, as a historical insight into the advertising world at that time, I recommend it highly. It is well written by one of the real "Mad Men" in the industry. Had I rated this book in the early 80's when I first read it, I would have given it five stars, but it has lost some of its punch over the years.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my memory is the original book, "From Those Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Pearl Harbor." I couldn't find my favorite part in the reprint (or, maybe I just missed it). It's still a terrific book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jerry Della Femina's now forty year-old book has been appropriately resurrected with the success of Mad Men. In fact, it is now a text book case of co-branding. Clearly, the original book was fodder for Matthew Weiner's superlative series and, as a result, is now leveraging the television drama on its re-released cover along with an endorsement from Mr. Weiner (the cover art now emulates Mad Men's opening sequence).

Della Femina would be a guy you would want to sit next to on a stool at the Oyster Bar. He would regal you with raunchy stories of Madison Avenue and if you listen carefully enough, you may learn something about advertising. Buried within the stories of drinking, toking, cheating, and playing politics are a few good bon mots like:

"There is no such thing as a bad client. But there is such a thing as bad advertising."

"Most account guys live with fear in their hearts."

"Creative people do not have a business sense about themselves."

"There is a great deal of advertising that is much better than the product. When that happens, all that good advertising will do is put you out of business."

Throughout the book there is high praise for Bill Bernbach and his agency, DDB. In fact, he sites the Volkswagen campaign as the industry game-changer and the people from DDB as the successful archetype for the industry as a whole. A beneficial section is on presenting and pitching where Della Femina accurately likens it to theater.

In terms of the Mad Men antics, he summarizes the industry with: "Crazy? Yes. Romantic and glamorous? Not one bit. The wild stuff, I'm afraid, is very much overrated." Which is true in Mad Men when we see agencies and individuals sow the seeds of their own destruction week to week.
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Format: Paperback
This was one of those books that you had because you kept your copy of the 1971 edition, or you found it for a buck at some book sale. I don't know much about the show "Mad Men" but I appreciate that its success and Della Femina's association with it have led to revived interest in this once again available classic.

Realizing that Jon Hamm/Don Draper will never be dropping by my place for a drink, this is the next best thing. Probably better, because Della Femina is real and his stories are as true as they need to be.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had always heard what an iconic character Della Femina was in the advertising biz and decided that I was long overdue for this book. It's really a fairly gritty look at the Madison Avenue scene and not a light read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love this! I heard about it once on TMZ when Harvey said a story reminded him of this book. I googled it and bought it right away. I am a big fan of the mod culture and advertising both. It was like getting the real dirt on what Mad Men should be but can't be because it would either bore some people or be too racy. He does a great job of telling how some of the greatest ads can come down to the last second before they actually meet with a client and how crazy some of these employees really are. If you like Mad Men you'll love this book they based the TV show on!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was written a long time ago, and it was kind of a ground breaker of its time. Ripping the lid of secrecy off of the advertising business. I just re-read it again and it's still great. Dated in spots of course, but the energy and the edge of Della Femina's take on the business that we only know through Mad Men today is still spot on. The brilliant title comes from...well, read it yourself.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
40 years later the quintessential "Mad Man" gives a tutorial on the "Man in the Grey Flannel a Suit". Interestingly, only technology and the "names" change..the insights and motivations hold up. Well done and a must read for all who think today's advertising is "new and improved"!..
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