Tales From a Mad Man’s Wife

Mad Men 3THE BOOK:  “Tales From A  Mad  Man’s Wife”

THE AUTHOR: Marilyn Miller Skylar.

PUBLISHED: 2014, by DogEar.

Mad MenSUMMARY: This memoir is primarily about the advertising and publishing career of my husband David Skylar. It also depicts the exciting prosperous years of the 50’s and 60’s and later, when new ideas and projects were developed following World War 2.

THE BACK STORY: “I decided to write this book after I found a paragraph that my husband had written many years ago to give some biographical material to a group where he was to make a major talk. I realized then that he would probably write about his life at some point. Of course, this was not to be.A massive stroke got in the way of any creative renderings. Once I  began recreating his business career, I realized I stood beside him in many ways, and would therefore have to personalize his store more. It  took me a couple of years to complete.”

Marilyn Miller SkylarWHY THIS TITLE? The title was an off shoot of the popular TV show Mad Men. I wanted to show how the real  ad guys really lived in that era.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT.  I imagine the people who knew my husband would be most curious about reading the book. However, I have heard from many others that they never knew that certain events took place and they felt the book was historically interesting in many ways.  Also, young advertising types might want to know what was “cool” back in the olden days…or better yet, the Golden days of advertising.


“The author has written a book in modest terms about a man bigger than life. The thing I enjoyed about the book was its crisp, concise, fast paced style and ease read. If you have an hour, run the book up the flag pole. See if you don’t salute David Skylar, a gentleman, husband, father, community leader, ad-man, journalist, my Chief Executive Officer, professor, consultant and dear friend.
Tales from A Mad Man’s Wife is the life story and legacy of the man I consider my mentor. He opened eyes to life style, communichaos, and making people feel important. He shared with me three simple rules: Never be indiscreet. If ever indiscreet, be indiscreet, discreetly. Never having your picture taken with a cigarette and/or drink in your hand.
Never let anyone work your side of the street.” — Robert W. Chism.
“Reading Tales from A Mad Man’s Wife was like reliving the advertising and PR world of the 1960s and 1970s (the period I knew Dave Skylar). It’s a candid, funny and perceptive recounting of how business worked, or didn’t work, in those days. Marilyn has an encyclopedic memory, and tells stories with details I had forgotten even though I was a part of them. Dave took a big chance in 1960 and hired me — a neophyte straight out of the Marine Corps and looking for his first job in a town where he knew nobody. The portait Marilyn paints is not larger than life; Dave actually IS that formidable. I have never known a more self-confident man — and I don’t mean big ego. Oh, and did I mention demanding, fair, creative and often very funny? Having him as a mentor was the best thing that could have happened to my career. Even if you never met Dave, this book is worth a read.” — Robert F. Miller.

“Marilyn Skylar’s breezy tale of life during the heyday of big-time advertising is a real life “Mad Men, with her husband, David, in the role of Don Draper (minus the icky side). Tales of business highs and lows are intertwined with depictions of family life in the 50s and 60s. Anyone from that era who married an “up-and-comer” like David will readily identify with the critical, but often overlooked role a wife played in those pre-women’s lib days. Marilyn’s keen observations about business, career and family reveal the complexity of life for a so-called housewife back then. Besides the stories, the book is full of wonderful photos of David with many famous and influential people, and also with friends and family. Old-time Clevelanders will enjoy the trip down memory lane. Marilyn also included full texts of some of David’s most noted and quoted articles and speeches, which should be required reading for any marketing practitioner, for his insights into clients, politics, women and communities are as amazingly relevant today as they were when first written 40 or 50 years ago. Soon to celebrate their 65th anniversary, Marilyn could not have given David a better gift to celebrate the occasion, or commemorate their remarkable journey. Hat’s off to “MJ” for being able to bring this great story to life!” — Martin Gould.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “As the author of this epistle, I can only say that I am pleased that I accomplished this feat. Although I was trained as a reporter and writer, I was mostly happy to bask in the limelight of my husband. I was basically a golf and tennis bum who only created  newsletters and special poetic treatises for charitable organizations or friends. I once spent 5 months writing a musical play for  a local organization, only to have the whole project aborted after the president of the group had a heart attack. Someday I would like to update the piece, as the subject matter is still current today. I have also written a poetry book called “Love is a Hot Fudge Sundae” which I have not yet published.”

WHERE TO BUY IT: The book can be ordered from any bookstore, or on line at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is also available on Kindle, Nook and Google Play. The paperback price changes all the time but the ebooks and Kindle price is 7.99 the last time I looked.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: I would love to hear from any readers on my Facebook page, Marilyn Miller Skylar, or through my email Mjskylar@yahoo.com.

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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

2 thoughts on “Tales From a Mad Man’s Wife”

  1. Thanks , Brian. I really appreciate your kind words. I’m glad I finally remembered the book was to be previewed. I hope you get to read it. There are some universal stories in it that you might find interesting. mmskylar


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