August 22, 2010

"Mad Men" Love Vassar Books

Don't worry, no spoiler alerts...

While we're still waiting for an overt Vassar reference in the liberal arts-schooled world of Mad Men, tonight's episode referenced and quoted from The Chrysanthemum and the Sword by alumna Ruth Benedict '09 (that is, 1909). Without giving anything away, the book, first published in 1946 for the Office of War Information, is a study of Japanese culture and Japan's relationship with the U.S. during WWII. 

Benedict majored in English at Vassar and went on to become a pioneer in the field of anthropology. Vassar's Special Collections holds a number of materials on Benedict - 151 boxes to be exact - including her notes and preparations for the book.

Those MM characters sure do love their Vassar authors, as this is now the second reference to a novel by a Vassar author.

Image via Wiki Commons.

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