It was the best of times, it was the best of times. To be white, male, and healthy in New York in the 1950s was to be as blessed as any individual at any time in history. The booming wartime economy had given way to a booming peacetime economy, fueled by full production to meet the voracious demand from buyers nourished by the innovation and choice now available in their bounteous new ‘supermarkets.’…While Europeans still shivered, exhausted, in their damp monochrome deprivation in the aftermath of the ruinous war, New Yorkers assumed world leadership with a cool sophistication that they’d previously granted to Paris, Rome, or London. In the excited, urgent chatter in the new air-conditioned offices, in the packed bars and increasingly worldly restaurants, in the crammed theater lobbies and fifth avenue stores there was a new confidence gained from global domination. New Yorkers basked in the health and wealth reflected back at them in the glass and chrome of their elegant, bustling streets. they revealed in their status as citizens of the busiest, noisiest, fasted growing, most advanced, most cosmopolitan, coolest, most desirable, and most photogenic city in the world.”

— Excerpt from ‘The Real Mad Men’ by Andrew Crackwell


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