Book Chats—Ellen Wayland-Smith, The Angel in the Marketplace: Adwoman Jean Wade Rindlaub and the Selling of America

Thursday, February 11 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

This is a past event.
Virtual Event


A discussion of Ellen Wayland-Smith's recent book, The Angel in the Marketplace (University of Chicago Press, 2020). The author will be joined in conversation by Maggie Doherty (Harvard University) and Elaine Tyler May (University of Minnesota), moderated by Alice Echols (USC). An excerpt of the book will be provided to those who register to attend.

Registration before the event is required. REGISTER

About the Book:
The Angel in the Marketplace is the story of one of America’s most accomplished advertising executives, Jean Wade Rindlaub, a female power broker who used her considerable success in the workplace to encourage other women—to stick to their kitchens. It is also the story of how advertisers like Rindlaub sold a postwar American dream of capitalism and a Christian corporate order. Alongside Rindlaub’s story, Ellen Wayland-Smith provides a riveting history of how women were repeatedly sold the idea that their role as housewives was more powerful, and more patriotic, than any outside the home. And by buying into the image of morality through an unregulated market, many of these women helped fuel backlash against economic regulation and socialization efforts throughout the twentieth century. The Angel in the Marketplace is a nuanced portrayal of a complex woman, one who both shaped and reflected the complicated cultural, political, and religious forces defining femininity in America at mid-century. This compelling account of one of advertising’s most fervent believers is a tale of a Mad Woman we haven’t been told.

About the author:
Ellen Wayland-Smith is associate professor of writing at the University of Southern California. She is also the author of Oneida: From Free Love Utopia to the Well Set Table (Picador,  2016). Her essays and reviews have appeared in Guernica, Catapult, The Millions, Longreads, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

This workshop is part of the Levan Institute for the Humanities' “Book Chats” series, a monthly conversation about new books published by USC scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. To see more events in this series, visit


Event Type

Lecture / Talk / Workshop


Students, Alumni, Faculty/Staff


Levan Institute for the Humanities
Add this to your calendar

Recent Activity