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New 'Mad Men' book: How many drinks did it cost Roger Sterling to get it published?

October 28, 2010 |  7:18 am

Sterling D.H. Lawrence. Henry Miller. And now... Roger Sterling?

On Tuesday, Grove Press, a publisher once known for daring fare like "Lady Chatterley's Lover" and "Tropic of Cancer," announced that it will release "Sterling's Gold: Wit & Wisdom of an Ad Man," a real book inspired by the autobiography that everyone's favorite silver fox wrote on "Mad Men."

Which made us wonder: Will Sterling's book be as juicy as Grove's other 1960s classics? Judging by the chapter titles -- "Women," "Drinking," etc. -- the answer is: maybe!

Due out in November, the book compiles Sterling's best eyebrow-raising one-liners from the show, including our personal favorite: "When God closes a door, he opens a dress."

Sadly, "Sterling's Gold" will not include any actual biography, which means no detailed reports of what really happened that night after Roger lured Joanie into a hotel room with a brand-new fur coat. But it will include 10 color photos from the show (we're hoping at least, say, 10 of them feature Joan) and a confessional introduction by "Mad Men" creator Matt Weiner, written in Sterling's voice.

"I'm not a writer," it says. "On some level, that's a point of pride because it steered me away from the cliche of autobiography. I had no desire to waste your and my time trying to turn a list of events into a campaign of triumph."

According to Vulture, the book developed as the result of a close friendship between Grove's publisher Morgan Entrekin and Weiner's manager, Keith Addis. In a very wink-wink statement, Grove claims the book was found in the basement of the home Sterling once shared with his wife, Jane: "Though it has been out of print for many years, Sterling's groundbreaking book gave readers a unique look at the burgeoning advertising world of the 1960s when it was first published in 1965, and was noted for its unconventional approach to the memoir." (And by "unconventional," we think they meant "drunk."

If the book was published in 1965, wouldn't that mean it was edited by legendary Grove founder Barney Rosset, who was famous for publishing hugely controversial material? Wouldn't Rosset have dismissed Sterling as an establishment stooge? We wonder how many martinis Sterling had to buy him before he agreed to publish the book. In any case, we hope this becomes part of a series for Grove.

Why not publish Don's journal? Peggy's diary? Surely Mrs. Blankenship would've written one hell of a memoir.

-- Melissa Maerz

Photo: Roger Sterling (John Slattery) on "Mad Men." Credit: AMC

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