Want to get inside Don Draper's mind? Then start with his library.
Atlas Shrugged (1957)
Ayn Rand 's influential novel of ideas is set in a dystopian America where society's most productive individuals flee rising taxes and government interference. (Sound familiar?) Tellingly, Don Draper's boss Bert Cooper suggests he buy a copy immediately after giving him a $2,500 bonus. "You are a productive and reasonable man," Cooper says, "and in the end completely self–interested." Is Don the ultimate Randian?
The Best of Everything (1958)
As a man of his time, Don doesn't think to consult his wife Betty when seeking insights into the female psyche. He turns instead to Rona Jaffe's novel about young women looking for love and fulfilment in Fifties New York. Last year, Penguin republished The Best of Everything shortly after Mad Men viewers saw Don reading it in bed.
The Group (1963)
Mary McCarthy's satirical novel follows the unravelling lives of eight upwardly mobile women who graduate from privileged Vasser College to Manhattan high society. Viewers saw Betty Draper, who might be a member of "the Group" herself, reading a copy in the bath.
Read by Don as research for an ad campaign, Leon Uris 's historical novel weaves a fictional story around the founding of the state of Israel. Don's clients at the time: the Israeli Department of Tourism. His lover at the time: Rachel Menken, a wealthy Jewish businesswoman.
Confessions of an Advertising Man (1963)
Still the essential insider's guide to the industry, Confessions was written by David Ogilvy, the British ad man often dubbed "the father of advertising". Roger Sterling grumbles to Don about Ogilvy's self–promoting book – then starts dictating his own ad–land memoir to his secretary. Bizarrely, Roger's fictitious book – Sterling's Gold: Wit and Wisdom of an Ad Man – has since been published by the programme–makers as a "must have for any Mad Men fan". Ogilvy would applaud the self–promotion.
This article was taken from Independent.ie .