Betty Draper reclines in the tub with a book in S3E10 (The Color Blue). The book is Mary McCarthy’s best-seller The Group, a novel that was banned in Australia, sent a whole ton of critics (I’m looking at you Norman Mailer) into a self-righteous tailspin and stood firm as a best seller in 1963
It was the book everyone read and didn’t want to admit it.
The Guardian’s Elizabeth Day has a great recounting of its reception and importance both then and now.
The Group, about eight Vassar girls navigating New Deal America in 1933, sits alongside The Best of Everything (also a Betty book), Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Valley of the Dolls (coming soon) and others that pop up on the Mad Men Reading List which explore the female world.
It is no surprise that Betty is reading the book though any character in the show has likely read it or will read it at some point in the decade.Continue reading “The Group of women in Mad Men who define an era… all eras”