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Mad Men: The Beginning of the End


It has been a long and memorable ride, unlike any other on television. But the final season of Mad Men begins April 13.

It's the beginning of the end. Whatever will be, will be.

The first episode of Mad Men was set in March 1960. Season 6 ended in November 1968. That's eight years and eight months. Where does that leave us? [spoiler alert!]

Don and Betty are divorced. Don's remarried to Megan, and she wasn't happy at the end of Season 6. Sally and Glen are teenagers. Roger has divorced twice and is the father of Joan's child. Joan's husband Greg is in Vietnam. Their marriage is over. Trudy catches Pete cheating too close to home. Their marriage is over. Ted moves to California, leaving Peggy as creative director of SC&P. Lane is dead.

Season 6 ended with Don Draper, on a forced hiatus from the agency, standing with his kids outside the brothel in which he grew up. The credits rolled to the Judy Collins version of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now".

Where and when will Season 7 be set? We'll have to wait and see. There is a colorful final season poster designed by Milton Glaser that hints at the psychedelia of the late sixties. There are also a handful of airport-themed cast photos that hint at travel. Is Don Draper bound for California? Again, we'll have to wait and see! One of the photos shows Peggy and Don waiting at an airport, and you can just glimpse some reading material in Peggy's bag: a red "The" centered at the top of a black cover... If you happen to recognize this book let me know!

(UPDATE: March 21, 2014: the book in Peggy's bag is The Penny Wars, by Elliott Baker. Click here for more details.)

The only other Season 7 information comes from a 15-second trailer of Don slowly exiting down the steps of an airplane. Even that managed to possibly provide one tantalizing tidbit: when Don's slo-mo airplane disembark video was first released the background music was a trip-hop version of "Que Sera, Sera", but that was quickly removed and changed to an atmospheric orchestration with the sound of a jetliner. Maybe the change was due to something as simple as not having the rights secured, or maybe it was a clue of what's to come!

Whatever will be, will be.

The final season of Mad Men will be split into two seven-episode sections, with the second part airing in 2015. There are only fourteen episodes left. Mad Men Season 7 starts April 13.

NYPL Resources

The Mad Men Reading List (2012)

The Mad Men Reading List (2010)

Sally Draper Reading List

Glen Bishop Reading List

A Mad Men Mystery Solved

Mad Men on the Menu

Celebrate the Mad Men Season (6) Premiere in ’60s Style

The Picture Collection's Mad Men Pinterest board

Books and Materials

1969: Woodstock, the Moon, and Manson: the Turbulent End of the '60s

Facing My Lai: Moving Beyond the Massacre, edited by David L. Anderson (occurred November 12, 1969)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou (published April 1969)

Amazin' Mets: The Miracle of '69 (The Mets win the World Series, October 16, 1969)

The Edible Woman, by Margaret Atwood (published August 1969)

The White Album, by The Beatles (released November 22, 1968)

Abbey Road, by The Beatles (released September 26, 1969)

The Brady Bunch (first broadcast, September 26, 1969)

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, by Vincent Bugliosi (Sharon Tate killed on August 9, 1969)

Notes of a Dirty Old Man, by Charles Bukowski (published 1969)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle (published June 3, 1969)

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, by David Carter (the riots took place on June 28, 1969)

The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Chichton (published May 12, 1969)

Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance During the Vietnam War, by Michael S. Foley

Flashman, by George MacDonald Fraser (published May 1969)

In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility, 1965-1969, by Francis French (the moon landing was on July 20, 1969)

Travels with My Aunt, by Graham Greene (published November 1969)

Blown Away: The Rolling Stones and the Death of the Sixties, by A. E. Hotchner (Brian Jones died on July 3, 1969)

1969: The Year Everything Changed, by Rob Kirkpatrick

Midnight Cowboy (released May 25, 1969)

The Godfather, by Mario Puzo (published March 10, 1969)

Portnoy's Complaint, by Philip Roth (published January 12, 1969)

Let It Bleed: The Rolling Stones, Altamont, and the End of the Sixties, by Ethan A. Russell (The Altamont Free Concert was on December 6, 1969)

Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut (published March 1969)

Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music (occured August 15-17, 1969)


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Mad Men ep Nixon v Kennedy - Lt Draper book in tent

Hi Billy and NYPL community! Don't know another way to contact you.. I have a quick question: Would you happen to know the name of the book Lt Draper (not Dick then Don) was reading in the tent he and Dick were talking? It's lavender/purple, and I can't read the title. It's open, face down between/behind them. I thought if anyone knew, it was you. No one else can ID it. Hope you're enjoying the end of the series as so many of us are. I've been citing your blog/book list to our peeps on the MM forum, fyi. Any reply or post in comments is appreciated, even if it's a "heck if I know." Cheers and thank you!

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