By Steven Watts

ISBN-10: 0470521678

ISBN-13: 9780470521670

The true Hugh Hefner-the outstanding within tale of an American icon

"Riveting... Watts packs in lots of gasp-inducing passages."-Newark superstar Ledger
"Like it or now not, Hugh Hefner has affected we all, so I valuable studying approximately how and why within the sober biography."-Chicago sunlight Times
"This is a enjoyable e-book. How may well it now not be? Watts goals to offer a whole account of the fellow, his journal and their position in social background. Playboy isn't any longer the cultural strength it was once, however it made a stamp on society."-Associated Press
"In Steven Watts' exhaustive, illuminating biography Mr. Playboy, Hefner's perfect for residing -- marked through his allegiances to Tarzan, Freud, Pepsi-Cola and jazz -- proves to be one of those gloss at the Protestant paintings ethic."-Los Angeles TimesGorgeous younger women in revealing poses; extravagant mansion events jam-packed with celebrities; a hot-tub grotto, dependent smoking jackets, and around rotating beds; the hedonistic pursuit of uninhibited intercourse. placed those photographs jointly and a unmarried identify springs to mind-Hugh Hefner. From his incredible release of Playboy journal and the dizzying enlargement of his relaxation empire to his fresh tv hit The ladies subsequent Door, the writer has attracted public realization and controversy for many years. yet how did a guy who's right now socially astute and morally unconventional, half invoice Gates and half Casanova, additionally evolve right into a determine on the leading edge of cultural change?In Mr. Playboy, historian and biographer Steven Watts argues that, within the technique of changing into fabulously filthy rich and recognized, Hefner has profoundly altered American existence and values. Granted unparalleled entry to the guy and his firm, Watts strains Hef's lifestyles and occupation from his midwestern, Methodist upbringing and the 1st booklet of Playboy in 1953 throughout the turbulent sixties, self-indulgent seventies, reactionary eighties, and traditionalist nineties, as much as the current. He finds that Hefner, from the start, believed he may overturn social norms and take the USA with him.This attention-grabbing portrait illustrates 4 ways that Hefner and Playboy stood on the heart of numerous cultural upheavals that remade the postwar usa. The writer performed an important function within the sexual revolution that upended conventional notions of habit and expectation relating to intercourse. He emerged as the most influential advocates of a speedily constructing shopper tradition, flooding Playboy readers with photographs of fabric abundance and a leisurely way of life. He proved instrumental-with his influential journal, syndicated tv exhibits, stylish nightclubs, swanky inns, and film and musical projects-in making pop culture right into a dominant strength in lots of people's lives. mockingly, Hefner additionally turned a debatable strength within the move for women's rights. even though advocating women's sexual freedom and their liberation from conventional kin constraints, the writer turned a whipping boy for feminists who seen him as a prophet for a brand new type of male domination.Throughout, Watts deals singular insights into the genuine guy in the back of the fancy public character. He exhibits Hefner's own dichotomies-the excitement seeker and the workaholic, the consort of numerous Playmates and the real romantic, the relations guy and the Gatsby-like host of lavish events at his Chicago and la mansions who enjoys well-publicized affairs with a variety of Playmates, the fan of life's easy pleasures who hobnobs with the Hollywood elite.Punctuated all through with descriptions and anecdotes of lifestyles on the Playboy Mansions, Mr. Playboy tells the compelling and uniquely American tale of the way one individual with a provocative thought, a finger at the pulse of well known opinion, and a fondness for his paintings altered the process smooth background.

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Extra resources for Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream

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PLAYBOY This atmosphere was reinforced by the temperaments of the boys’ parents. Glenn, a straitlaced, hardworking CPA, had carved out a career at the Advanced Aluminum Company and also kept the books for the Austin Methodist Church, where the Hefners attended. About five foot eight with broad shoulders and a trim waist, the former basketball player had kept himself in good shape into middle age. Although taciturn, he had more of a sense of humor than Grace and was known to joke on occasion. 21 But Hugh and Keith seldom saw their father because he was addicted to his work.

In 1931, Glenn’s father, James Hefner, was arrested in Burlington, Colorado, and tried on four counts of taking “indecent liberties” with three girls aged ten and eleven. The charges accused the sixty-one-year-old man of “willfully and feloniously placing his hands under the clothes of . . and upon the private parts of ” the girls. He was convicted and spent over a year in jail, while his wife rented a room nearby so she could visit him. indd 24 8/12/08 2:12:57 PM A B O Y AT P L AY 25 crime and fearful of having married into a bad family that she briefly considered taking the two boys and leaving.

The two talked for a long time, flirted a bit, and eventually she sat on his lap. Later he discovered that she had done so to make another boy jealous, but there was a mutual attraction. 2 Millie played the violin, was athletic, and came from a blue-collar family. Her mother was a housewife and devoted Catholic who regularly shepherded Millie and her four sisters to Mass. Her father, a streetcar conductor and later a bus driver, had left the Catholic Church years before. 3 Hugh and Millie had several dates during the two weeks between the time they met and the day he left for military service.

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Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream by Steven Watts


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