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1. Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the
2. Rankin's Cheeky
3. Hef's Little Black Book
4. Hugh Hefner's Playboy, 6 Volumes
5. Inside the Playboy Mansion: If
6. Sleeping With Bad Boys: A 1956
7. Playboy November 1967
8. Mr Playboy Hugh Hefner & the
9. Hugh Hefner's First Funeral and
10. Playboy Magazine, October 1996
11. LeRoy Neiman: Femlin
12. The Century of Sex: Playboy's
13. Playboy, March 1962
14. Playboy, December 1957
15. Playboy, November 1961
16. Third Playboy Annual Entertainment
17. 20th Anniversary Playboy Reader
18. Playboy, November 1960
19. Playboy, September 1957
20. Playboy, August 1958

1. Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream
by Steven Watts
Paperback: 544 Pages (2009-08-24)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$1.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0470521678
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

The real Hugh Hefner-the extraordinary inside story of an American icon

"Riveting... Watts packs in plenty of gasp-inducing passages."-Newark Star Ledger

"Like it or not, Hugh Hefner has affected all of us, so I treasured learning about how and why in the sober biography."-Chicago Sun Times

"This is a fun book. How could it not be? Watts aims to give a full account of the man, his magazine and their place in social history. Playboy is no longer the cultural force it used to be, but it made a stamp on society."-Associated Press

"In Steven Watts' exhaustive, illuminating biography Mr. Playboy, Hefner's ideal for living -- marked by his allegiances to Tarzan, Freud, Pepsi-Cola and jazz -- proves to be a kind of gloss on the Protestant work ethic."-Los Angeles TimesGorgeous young women in revealing poses; extravagant mansion parties packed with celebrities; a hot-tub grotto, elegant smoking jackets, and round rotating beds; the hedonistic pursuit of uninhibited sex. Put these images together and a single name springs to mind-Hugh Hefner. From his spectacular launch of Playboy magazine and the dizzying expansion of his leisure empire to his recent television hit The Girls Next Door, the publisher has attracted public attention and controversy for decades. But how did a man who is at once socially astute and morally unconventional, part Bill Gates and part Casanova, also evolve into a figure at the forefront of cultural change?In Mr. Playboy, historian and biographer Steven Watts argues that, in the process of becoming fabulously wealthy and famous, Hefner has profoundly altered American life and values. Granted unprecedented access to the man and his enterprise, Watts traces Hef's life and career from his midwestern, Methodist upbringing and the first publication of Playboy in 1953 through the turbulent sixties, self-indulgent seventies, reactionary eighties, and traditionalist nineties, up to the present. He reveals that Hefner, from the beginning, believed he could overturn social norms and take America with him.This fascinating portrait illustrates four ways in which Hefner and Playboy stood at the center of several cultural upheavals that remade the postwar United States. The publisher played a crucial role in the sexual revolution that upended traditional notions of behavior and expectation regarding sex. He emerged as one of the most influential advocates of a rapidly developing consumer culture, flooding Playboy readers with images of material abundance and a leisurely lifestyle. He proved instrumental-with his influential magazine, syndicated television shows, fashionable nightclubs, swanky resorts, and movie and musical projects-in making popular culture into a dominant force in many people's lives. Ironically, Hefner also became a controversial force in the movement for women's rights. Although advocating women's sexual freedom and their liberation from traditional family constraints, the publisher became a whipping boy for feminists who viewed him as a prophet for a new kind of male domination.Throughout, Watts offers singular insights into the real man behind the flamboyant public persona. He shows Hefner's personal dichotomies-the pleasure seeker and the workaholic, the consort of countless Playmates and the genuine romantic, the family man and the Gatsby-like host of lavish parties at his Chicago and Los Angeles mansions who enjoys well-publicized affairs with numerous Playmates, the fan of life's simple pleasures who hobnobs with the Hollywood elite.Punctuated throughout with descriptions and anecdotes of life at the Playboy Mansions, Mr. Playboy tells the compelling and uniquely American story of how one person with a provocative idea, a finger on the pulse of popular opinion, and a passion for his work altered the course of modern history.

  • Spans from Hefner's childhood to the launch of Playboy magazine and the expansion of the Playboy empire to the present
  • Puts Hefner's life and work into the cultural context of American life from the mid-twentieth-century onwards
  • Contains over 50 B/W and color photos, including an actual fold-out centerfold
Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Hugh Hefner and the Playboy Mansion

1. He has been keeping an exhaustive “scrapbook” of his life since adolescence, which now consists of over 1800 volumes and takes up much of the third floor of the Mansion.

2. His favorite weekly event is Monday’s “Manly Night,” a gathering of longstanding male friends for an evening devoted to eating, trading friendly insults and stories, and watching old films.

3. Hefner became obsessed with backgammon in the 1970s, playing in tournaments at the Mansion that attracted world-class players and lasted for hours, sometimes days.

4.He was deeply traumatized during his college days when his fiancé confessed that she was involved in a sexual affair.

5.He nearly choked to death in the late 1970s after ingesting a small sex toy during a raucous lovemaking session with his girlfriend.She dislodged it with the Heimlich maneuver.

6. Hefner was a strong backer of the civil rights movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s, contributing money and booking African American entertainers for his television show and the Playboy Clubs.

7.The Mansion library still prominently displays a large ceramic bust of Barbi Benton, Hefner’s girlfriend from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

8. The Mansion staff is inundated with requests for invitations to Hefner’s big parties.Some are from celebrities who want to bring their friends, and many are from young women who send photos of themselves in skimpy clothing and provocative poses.Nearly all are turned down.

9.Every bathroom at the Mansion is equipped with a bottle of baby oil, bottle of aspirin, and Jergens cherry-almond skin lotion.During big parties, many of them also have bowls filled with condoms.

10. Hefner has all of his meals brought to him in his bedroom suite at the Mansion.Even when the Mansion is filled with dozens of guests enjoying an elegant buffet meal for movie nights on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, he eats in his room before joining the crowd.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars For the love of Hef
If you want to find out why Mr.Playboy is who he is you will love this book. It is like a window into the making of the man that would become an icon.

1-0 out of 5 stars How you write an uninteresting book about a very interesting man?
Ever wanted to take a fascinating subject and make it a bore, but didn't know how? Watts shows you how. Hugh Hefner's life has always fascinated me. I can't imagine anyone not being interesting in him male or female.When I saw a dozen of these books at a bookstore on clearance, that should have been a tip off to what I was getting into. However, I choose to buy it anyway because, considering how interesting Hugh's life is, how can you mess this up? This book was written using 2 things. #1: Assumptions and guesses of what Hugh was thinking. Then ramble on for several pages about said guesses.It becomes very evident early on that the author at no time interviewed or spoke to Hef when writing this Biography. Why would he? He had #2. #2: Pepper the book with quotes from hundreds of other articles and books that others got from Hef. No need to interview Hef right? You can just read an interview Rolling Stones magazine and the others did with him, snatch the quotes and stuff them in your book.Then revert back to #1 and begin assuming and guessing. Throw in some filler composed of uninteresting and irrelevant details and bam, you've got a book.
I wanted to hear about Hef's hardship starting the magazine. Instead, I got several pages of how the Kinsey Report MAY have had some dramatic impact on Hef's life. This very important aspect of his life is glossed over with basic facts surrounded by more theories. The whole starting the magazine is pretty much covered in 3 or 4 pages when you really break it down. Most of the book should have been the early years, but instead we get assumptions and theories on why Hef is the way he is. If you are still thinking of buying this book after these low star reviews, simply take the money you plan on using to buy it, flush it down the toilet, and you will have accomplished your goal. If you are concerned about the hours upon hours of reading this uninteresting drivel about a fascinating man that you had planned on wasting, then purchase some paint, apply to a wall, then assume an uncomfortable position and watch it dry. Rinse and repeat.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great fun.
I was so thoroughly taken with this book. Hef is a very very interesting and unique character in my opinion. If you choose to read this book, I think you'll find it takes much more of a historical perspective on the influence of Hef and Playboy. The author mentions occasionally the mix ups Hef would get into.. but the sex mishaps are light and the focus is on the history of the man. It's unlikely this book will disappoint.

5-0 out of 5 stars One Type of American Dream
I found this a compelling biography as well as a sociological and psychological treatise. In paralleling the life of Hefner and Playboy Enterprises, Watts gives us a tour of five decades where the "American Dream" became essentially synonymous with consumer culture. The psychological sequelae are treated fairly without the hysterical screeching usually heard from the so-called conservative right or the pandering platitudes of the blathering left. Whatever you think of Hefner, he is certainly a person who has lived an amazing life as promoter of sensual pleasure, civil libertarian, and cultural trend-setter.

2-0 out of 5 stars Mildly entertaining...a bit dull
I could have used more fact and less guessing about what goes on inside Hefner's head, as if anyone could really know.A better history of his life can be found inside Gay Talese's book "Thy Neighbor's Wife" which is a great read.Find a copy of that and stay away from this one. ... Read more

2. Rankin's Cheeky
by Rankin
Hardcover: 176 Pages (2009-10-15)
list price: US$78.00 -- used & new: US$50.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 383279364X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This collection of edgy erotica combines outstanding female beauty with a dark undercurrent.Known for freewheeling, stylized images of top celebrities, as well as a starkly unconventional aesthetic, Rankin is a dreamweaver second to none.Equal parts innocent mischief and renegade kink, Rankin offers mesmerizing visions spiked with just the right hint of spice.Wuirky humor combines with stunning compositions to leave a lasting impresssion.These skillful erotic studies not only titillate--they make one hell of a statement! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sexy, sultry, surprising...
No photographer defines his genre in the way that Rankin does erotica. He's simply the best, and that's what's on display in this beautiful volume published by teNeues. The pictures are fun, sexy, sultry, surprising, shocking and silly. Hugh Heffner's introduction is top notch. This is the standard bearer against which all others of its kind ought to be measured!

3-0 out of 5 stars Fun, but not cheeky
I was expecting something a little more, well, cheeky. Pretty women, a few interesting shots, but there wasn't a sense of human or adventure. ... Read more

3. Hef's Little Black Book
by Hugh M. Hefner, Bill Zehme
 Hardcover: 183 Pages (2004-01-30)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$5.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0756788005
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Fifty years after inventing the Good Life as no one else had dared, the Master Playboy shares the secrets that have for generations made him the envy of all free-thinking men & women. This book conjures the legendary lifestyle of Hugh Hefner, a treasure trove of urbane lore, wry advice, & time-honored wisdom spanning the realms of romance, hedonism, ambition, business, dreams, &, of course, sex. From the pursuit of Love to the politics of the Bedroom, from the inspiration of a single idea to the emergence of a sprawling international corp. built on self-belief, Hef provides an invaluable guide to anyone who has ever thought big. Accompanied by tantalizing, never-before-seen full-color photos, the gateway to Hef's Dream World of Cool awaits you. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This little black book is quite disappointing, it was not written very well, was jumpy, erratic and difficult to follow at times. Hefner has an amazing life (as evidenced by his very words in this book) and his "co-writer" Zehme could have expressed it in a much more eloquent way that would have honored his life, rather than the slipshod smattering of quotes presented in this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Hefs Little Black Book
Well I so wish I could share my opinion on this book.But I ordered it last January 2008 and have yet to receive it.They keep telling me its out of stock.For almost a year !!!!This is the only book I really really wanted for my collection and can not seem to get it.I want to have Hef sign it as he will always be one of the Greatest Men I have ever met in my life.When you talk about Gentlemen he isat the top of the list.So what ever negative things people write about him its because they don't know him and never met him.I was very very lucky and blessed to have met him years ago and have never been treated so kindly.I wish I could go back in time and be ONE OF THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR.I hope Holly Madison keeps Hef happy always.Please send me this book.Then you will get the best reviews I have to offer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gross Insensitivity of Hefner's Girl Friends
In 1974, I purchased Frank Brady's HEFNER (AN UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY). I was surprised because the author didn't offer any exclusive information - the book included nothing new or unknown. However, the author did report that Hefner was deeply in love and committed to Barbie Benton who he would marry soon. Well, he was wrong about that.Bottom line: There was nothing Brady's "unauthorized" biography that seemed worthy of being deemed unauthorized.

When I was reading HEF'S LITTLE BLACK BOOK, I was once again taken by surprise. There was no new information - everything in the book was well known. Instead of poor writing, I've got to conclude that Hefner has no sexual secrets. Yet, he does write of secret sexual relationships, but he won't share because these concern others. It is not himself he is protecting. Unlike Nixon, Hefner destroyed the tapes by tossing them into the Pacific Ocean. I wonder: Is this disposal contrary to EPA regulations? Can Hefner be fined? Shall we hire the Titanic team to recover the tapes?

One big inference emerged from reading: the Barbie Benton and Karen Christy conflict.Like everything else in this autobiography, this is a well known urban tale. Hefner was sleeping with both of these women with whom he claimed to dearly love. Reading between the lines, the authors suggest that Barbie and Karen were grossly insensitive to Hefner's sexual needs. He needed both of them, but neither could accept sharing him with another woman. Hefner was emotionally devastated, but eventually recovered. Today, Hefner has finally found a girlfriend who is willing to share him with two other women.If Barbie was willing to regularly share him with others, I wonder if they would be married today?

I don't know if this little book was worth the money to read. Nevertheless, I found it to be a hoot.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great
this was out in so many stores, glad i found it! it made a great gift!

4-0 out of 5 stars A little light on a fascinating man
Hef's Little Black Book isn't some story of Playboy the magazine or the empire, a biog of Hef or anything more than really a kind of puff-piece valentine from Hef to himself.I say from Hef because he's listed as the author, though "and Bill Zehme" presumably did most of the writing, organizing, interviewing, and editing.

However, given its parameters, the book works surprisingly well.Zehme did a similar book - a better one, though - on Sinatra a few years back, and its organization by subject/theme, its adoring fifties-style prose and please-pass-on-your-wisdom-o-master tone which strangely enough worked very well on the Sinatra piece is used again here.It's sort of effective.The book is a mixture of Zehme's narrative in the above voice, quotes from Hefner mixed in, and dozens of excellent photos of all types.

Hef passes on pearls of wisdom regarding women, romance, enjoying life and games, business, sex and the like.The Bed is covered in detail, with blueprints and everything.Much of it is not especially deep or new or earthshattering.I don't know that it really touches on what makes Hef such a fascinating figure or so important a man in 20th century life.But it's not uninteresting to Hefner aficionados.

What is in fact the goods on Hef is that he managed to first define the upscale male fantasy life, and then proceeded to insert himself into the picture and live it, for fifty nonstop years of uncompromising hedonism.In doing so he became a living symbol of the sexual revolution, and in the magazine's Playboy Philosophy he defended and explained his thinking brilliantly.It could not have worked without tremendous charm, business acumen (including the knowledge of when to step down from day-to-day operating control and let more capable managers take over), and self-control exercised over himself, and he surely kept very good people watching his back.

This book doesn't tell that story.If interested, there are many out there that do; I particularily like Russell Miller's Bunny, from back in the troublesome 80s.But this book does have fantastic and rarely seen photos from the 50s, 60s and 70s which make up for a lot, and one does get a faint glimpse of an unusual man. ... Read more

4. Hugh Hefner's Playboy, 6 Volumes (Collectors)
by Hugh M Hefner
Hardcover: 3360 Pages (2009-12-06)
list price: US$1,300.00 -- used & new: US$950.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3822826138
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The original Mr. Playboy's illustrated autobiography

Girls, gags, and great writing: the life and times of Hugh Hefner

Hugh M. Hefner presents an illustrated autobiography with chronological highlights from Playboy's first 25 years.
His personal life and career from cartoon-drawing childhood to astonishing success with Playboy are revealed in the most intimate portrait ever.

Limited Edition of 1,500 numbered copies signed by Hefner, in a Plexiglas case. Includes a facsimile edition of Playboy #1 from 1953 featuring the iconic Monroe cover and first nude shots and a 7 x 7 cm piece of Hef's famous silk pajamas, worn by the great man himself.

This sumptuous six-volume anthology
celebrates the decadence, sophistication and wit of the original men's magazine and its creator. Hugh Hefner's Playboy highlights the extraordinary years from 1953 to 1979, with a selection of each era's spiciest centerfolds and writing by literary icons Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Jack Kerouac and Ray Bradbury, as well as some of the most important Playboy Interviews, including Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Richard Nixon, and Roman Polanski. A wealth of never-before-seen ephemera from Hefner's personal archives includes original artwork, cartoons and correspondence, and 700 pages of autobiographical text about his youth, military service, early career as a cartoonist, numerous girlfriends and eventual success with Playboy. A vast selection of personal photos many previously unseen include behind-the-scenes shots from the Playboy Mansion, Playboy Clubs, and the Big Bunny jet. This is the definitive history of Playboy and its legendary founder.

Limited to 1,500 sets, each numbered and signed by Hugh Hefner

Six volumes totaling 3,506 pages, packaged in a 10mm-thick Plexiglas box

Features 59 of the hottest Centerfolds in full size, and all 312 covers from the magazine's first 25 years

Comprehensive overview of artwork and pictorials by all of the important Playboy artists and photographers

Contains a facsimile edition of Playboy s groundbreaking first issue, featuring Marilyn Monroe's iconic nude portrait

Hefner s text in English with German, French and Spanish translations

Special bonus: includes a 7 x 7 cm piece of Hef s legendary silk pajamas!
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of a kind.
Hugh Hefner and Playboy are inseparable and one of a kind , so is Hugh Hefner's Playboy. This six volume set is beautifully designed and exquisitely detailed. Spanning Hefner's early life and influences through the "golden years" of Playboy( first 25 years).The collection includes vintage excepts from the magazine, beautifully reprinted centerfolds and articles ( for people who only "read" Playboy).Hugh Hefner's Playboy is mostly a chronological pictorial with some rare and never seen photos but at the same timea good narrative and introduction by Hefner.
This collection is a must for anyone who admires Mr. Hefner and the magazine he founded. There are only 1500 in print and I have mine so there is at most 1499 circulating. An add bonus Mr. Hefner signs each number copy, also include is a swatch of his silk pajamas( now that's autographically" up close and personal") There's also a reprint of the first Marilyn Monroe issue which is a first class reprint probably better then the first one ever was definitely better then the Bondi reprint Playboy 50's. Actually this collection is the best overall print I've ever seen Playboy do. Taschen bravo! ... Read more

5. Inside the Playboy Mansion: If You Don't Swing, Don't Ring
by Gretchen Edgren
 Hardcover: 352 Pages (1998-12)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$24.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 157544044X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Look Into the Glory Years of The Playboy Mansion
Much like the TV show "Playboy After Dark" this book gives one a real look into the glory days of the Playboy Lifestyle and specifically the Playboy Mansion. Although more of a coffee table book, the pictures and even the plans to the "original" bachelor pad that Hefner planned to build, are also included. The pictures and the memories included in this book are facinating.

2-0 out of 5 stars A very wierd book
Inside the Playboy Mansion starts out really great. Shows the lifestyle most young bachelors want for themselves by showing how Hef entertained at his Chicago mansion in the 60s. Lots of socializing with very important figures of the day plus all the beautiful women these young men would want. As the book progresses throughout the decades(that's how "Inside" is divided), it's starts looking like a very uninspiringly put together society page from a newspaper. Ho-hum pictures with Hefner and celebrities. Don't get me wrong, the book also has some great shots of the most important playmates ever, especially Barbi Benton which was possibly the cutest playmate ever.

However, the thing that bothered me the most about "Inside" was the last part, were Hefner marries Kimberly Conrad and they have two boys. Totally wierd. All the baby & family pictures just didn't fit. I mean, its starts out as this great sexy book and then it turns into a freaking family album, COME ON!

5-0 out of 5 stars An execellent journey of the famed Playboy Mansion
This is such an interesting book both in photographs and the stories behind each of the Chicago and "Hollywood" mansions that Hef haslived in.From the early 1960's where the food and the women were abundantlistening to the Beatles, The Rolling Stones and even Frank Sinatra, theChicago Playboy Mansion was definitely the social scene of the early-mid1960's and 1970's. Even the Playboy Bunny's had special rooms upstairs inthe mansion where they paid rent to live (although very inexpensive rentdue to the genorosity of Hef). Now the Playboy Mansion West is the socialscene in the 1990's.The heyday's of the 1960's 1970's and 1990's (the1980s were a down period for the mansion, also Hef was married to KimberlyConrad so the 1980's were a quiet time at the Mansion) are shown inexcellent photographic detail, and yes Hef rightly so, is the spotlight andfocus of this book since he is the creator not only of Playboy Magazine butalso the Playboy lifestyle.

From Chicago Hef moved to California andstarted the Playboy Mansion West (still the place to go for Hollywood'selite) and every Playboy fans fantasy is to visit the mansion and meet Hefhimself.From the Grotto to the movie room each room gives a glimpse ofwhat a tour would be like and what it would also be like to live there. The party's, the movie nights, and even the petting zoo are shown.Thisbook is a result of many fans of Hef and Playboy asking him what hiseveryday life is like behind the scene's at the mansion.

I congratulateHugh M. Hefner for starting the vision of Playboy, which not only showcasesbeautiful women from around the world, but also gives them the opportunityto take that experience and make it an opportunity.Alot of feminists andpeople may not agree with Hef's philosophy and lifestyle, but that is whatmakes Playboy great. The Playboy forum and letter's to the editor givespeople and readers of Playboy Magazine a chance to voice their opinion ifto agree or disagree, Hef believes in the right for people to make theirown choice and express it.That is one of the purposes of Playboy, thefreedom to express yourself, as long as it does not hurt or damageothers.

Thank you Hef for allowing your fans to appreciate the scenes ofthe Playboy Mansion and what has happened there over the years, (what Iwouldnt give to go to a Midsummer's Night Dream Party or to Hefs movienights!)This is a great book to all fans of Playboy and the immortal HughM. Hefner.

5-0 out of 5 stars Figures of 20th century: Hugh Hefner
Truely one of the great masterworks of the late 20th century. In years to come will be an essential classic for the whole family. Many interesting pictures.

3-0 out of 5 stars How Much "Hef" Can You Take?
This big, candy-colored book suffers from so much merciless knee-bending to the great lord of the manor--Hef, Hef, Hef--as if he were some sort of god. (And you just thought he published dirty books.) Indeed, you begin tothink the main activity at the mansions must have been butt-kissing. Thisbook was penned by longtime Playboy staffer Gretchen Edgren, with Playboy'sfull cooperation, so don't expect any details on the very real toll thissilly, hedonistic life ultimately had on some of the participants. What'smost amusing is that Hugh Hefner seems the anomaly in his own surroundings,a small, unglamorous, goofy looking guy surrounded by A-list celebritiesand tantalizing vixens. He seems plucked out of a James Thurber shortstory, a Walter Mitty, transported from his accounting cubicle to a life ofcarnal overkill. One outtake photo included actually shows Hefner's large ,exposed behind in the famed grotto. Also, interestingly, is a veryunflattering photo of Kimberley Hefner, the Playmate For A Lifetime, who isnow estranged from her husband. A most rosy postcard from Chicago andHolmby Hills. ... Read more

6. Sleeping With Bad Boys: A 1956 Playboy Model's Escapades with James Dean,Hugh Hefner, Norman Mailer and the famous writers of the 1950's beat generation
by Alice Denham
Paperback: 256 Pages (2006-11-07)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1580422063
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Alice Denham's lusty memoir is a juicy tell-all about a time when male writers were gods and an aspiring and gorgeous female novelist tries to win respect—and sometimes more. Caught between the sheets are James Dean, Norman Mailer, Hugh Hefner, Philip Roth, and William Gaddis. The steam rises page by page as Denham—the only Playboy Playmate to have her fiction published in the same issue as her centerfold—chases her dream of writing as a young, oversexed beauty in the literary swirl of 1950s Greenwich Village, New York City. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sex, Truth, and Books: The Apprenticeship of Alice Denham
SLEEPING WITH BAD BOYS is a provocative, titillating title, to be sure. Sex sells, and Alice Denham doesn't disappoint with this book. But the title doesn't tell the whole story, nor does it convey the book's abiding value. SLEEPING WITH BAD BOYS is nothing less than an eyewitness account of the unfolding of an era. Denham's personal memories of key writers frequently segue into keen literary criticism, while her travails as a woman author and model are firmly set against the burgeoning feminist movement of the 60s.

The cast list is jaw-dropping--James Dean, Marlon Brando, Hugh Hefner, James Jones, Philip Roth, Nelson Algren, Joseph Heller, William Gaddis, David Markson, and Norman Mailer, just for starters. No, Denham didn't have sex with (quite) all of them, and if your prurient curiosity is getting the best of you, you'll have to read the book. Suffice it to say that these vividly-drawn characters play illuminating parts in Denham's bildungsroman. BAD BOYS relates a writer's apprenticeship in those heady days when literature still mattered, when American readers waited with bated breath for the elusive "Great American Novel."

Then as now, writers learned to support themselves while pursuing their craft, but options for women were limited. Denham hated modeling, especially scantily clothed or not at all, but it seemed a less time-consuming way to pay the bills than, say, shorthand. In 1956, she became the first and only woman to appear as a playmate centerfold in PLAYBOY and publish a short story in the same issue.

It was a stunt, of course, calculated to attract publishers to Denham's work. In that male-dominated age, a woman writer had to think on her feet, for "it was conventional wisdom that no woman could write fiction with the scope of a man." And while Denham remembers her male literary pals with affection, she doesn't write about them with unqualified nostalgia.

To her, Mailer, Roth, Heller, Gaddis, and their ilk were flawed men and flawed artists. "Alienation was the height of male literary chic," she observes. "A refusal to reach out, disguised as inescapable human frailty. Each in his own cell, in solitary. I called it megalomania, suffocating self-love. Whereas ordinary men and women did manage to get close, to know and touch and relate. Even if they failed to make it last. What these hotsy male writers knew about love was NADA."

In Denham's eyes, Katherine Anne Porter rose above those self-imposed limitations. Denham relates her tentative but moving friendship with the then-fading but still effervescent Southern short-story writer. This passage sweetly captures the thrill a young artist feels when being treated as a peer by a genius.

Otherwise, Denham's literary heroes were usually separated from her by time or space. She adored the poetry of T.S. Eliot, responded eagerly to Bernard Shaw's Life Force worship, and especially idolized Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who "combined character, theme, action, and plot movement ALL IN ONE SENTENCE. How I yearned, ached, to be able to do that." Denham embraces Dostoyevsky's spirit best when ruthlessly analyzing her own motives and shortcomings.

Along those lines, much of Denham book relates the writing and publication of her novel MY DARLING FROM THE LIONS, first printed in 1967 and recently reissued by Authors Guild Backinprint.com. One editor offered to show Denham how to make the book more "commercial." Denham turned him down, angry and offended. "If a novel was considered commercial," she explains, "that meant it was NOT literary. We serious writers disdained bestseller writers as a low breed. They were hacks, we were artists."

That was a false dichotomy, of course: "Later I realized I had turned down an opportunity to LEARN through arrogant youthful stupidity. Turned down a bird in hand for an empty bush. . . . We in those days believed literature equals truth, commercial equals crap. We smartasses. Life changes."

Life changed, indeed, during the 1960s, with the rise of feminism, and Denham threw herself into the movement wholeheartedly. Her own experiences as a woman artist--and, yes, a sex object--convinced her of the imperative of advancing women's rights. She wept with joy at the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 ROE V. WADE decision overturning state antiabortion laws, for she had personally endured the trauma of illegal abortion.

Her searing description of one such abortion should be required reading for anyone who remains undecided on the issue of choice. "The first pain scraped raw through me beyond pain," she writes, "appalling my entire body, stretching its range of sensations to the unbearable.... I was my own human sacrifice, killing part of myself to free the rest."

Someday, the sex and gossip of SLEEPING WITH BAD BOYS will seem merely one facet in a rich and multi-faceted narrative, and Denham's book will be widely recognized as the important document it is. But don't wait till then to read it. Any college instructor teaching a survey course in 20th-century American literature (or, for that matter, 20th-century American culture in general) would be well advised to include it in the syllabus.

5-0 out of 5 stars Boys and Girls Together
If you love the AMC TV series THE MAD MEN, with its highly stylized picture of Manhattan life circa 1960, you have to read this book!Alice Denham is a trip!"Manhattan was a river of men flowing past my door, and when I was thirsty I drank."I haven't read any of her novels, but she can certainly spin a juicy tale.You have to admire her chutzpah, setting off from Jacksonville to hit New York during an era in which women were seen as inferior, especially writing women, and in fact they were often "not seen" at all--Denham refers to herself and others as "invisible women," after Ralph Ellison's classic novel INVISIBLE MAN.In a sense they were invisible even to other women, taught that marriage is the ultimate act of love and that a woman's destiny is to become a supportive wife to her husband.Other women were competition.Alice Denham does, however, sketch a memorable portrait of one fellow woman writer, the much older Katherine Anne Porter, with whom she became drinking pals."She was my literary guru, powerful as the ancient Aztec goddess of earth and fire, Coatlicue."

She has a long memory and never forgets a slight, nor has she forgotten the equipment of any man she ever knew..Somehow, fresh from college, Denham managed to find herself involved with many of the movers and shakers of New York culture of the period (roughly 1953 through 1965), when living in New York, she claims, was like Paris in the 1920s.I must correct an earlier reviewer of Denham's book.It was not James Dean who had the small "apparatus," no, his was perfectly average and OK--you're thinking of James Jones whose tiny little thumblike thing certainly did not send Miss Denham from here to eternity.(Though Jones made up for it in other ways!)The one bad boy who appears most often is Norman Mailer, whom oddly enough Denham never did sleep with.She is utterly convincing as a portraitist, with a gift for the telling physical characteristic; among other things her book might be used to reconstruct the physical likenesses of all her leading figures, even if all photographs, paintings, and films of them were to vanish in an instant.Jones had "an abnormally long head front to back while, incomprehensibly, his features were bunched together in the squalling center of his face."Don't you love the touch of that "squalling"?She's a poet from top to toe."William Gaddis looked New England Gothic, slight, rail-thin with a highboned narrow face, bony hands, yet an insinuating air."Here it's the word "yet" that does all the work, gives us Gaddis to the life.Naked, he's "only slightly muscled, but sporting a fine centerpiece

Throughout all the bedroom hijinx (in what other modernist's memoir will you find out that the late film composer Leonard Rosenman had a fondness for--well, I can't even say it on this family based website?) she never loses her throughline, which is her heartfelt attempt to write a great novel and then to get it published.Again and again she gets the rebuff from nasty male editors who just want her to continue with her career as a Playmate and/or to become a "hostess."Finally she gets somebody to believe in her wild vision and MY DARLING FROM THE LIONS gets published.In the meantime the guys she resents are often enough the ones who are great in bed.Evan S. Connell Jr was the king stud, "tall, noble, with strong perfectly proportioned features and observant eyes, black as his hair.The royal bearing of an Indian chieftain.Was he descended from Sacajawea and Chabonneau?"

In her slightly ironic style, Denham is sometimes so anxious to avoid four letter words that she gets a little cryptic, and some of her touches are sort of odd."As he passed me, Philip Roth tried to tweak my mound by ramming his paw into my lap."But all in all SLEEPING WITH BAD BOYS is a masterpiece of wrath, tenderness, and compassion, and I predict it will someday outshine most of the "boy's books" that defined literature for Denham's generation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read!
An excellent retelling of her literary and sexual exploits during the 50s. Because she knew so many famous authors, it's also a fun look through a different angle of the beat generations history. The bits about James Dean and Norman Mailer are fun reads, as well as many others. Her writing is evocative and juicy, making the book a relatively quick read and a page-turner. It's all around a fun book to read, her life in the 50s was excellently publishable.

The way she writes about love and sex makes this book amazing and timeless, thanks to her friends and acquaintances, the literary heroes from the 50s, her interesting struggle to have her writing published, and her entertaining rift with Playboy. Not recommended for anyone looking for a literary history, but for any fan of the beat generation or looking for a good, fun read about past times.

5-0 out of 5 stars Utterly absorbing from cover to cover and enthusiastically recommended.
Author Alice Denham, whose writings have appeared in "The New York Times", "New York" magazine, "Cosmopolitan", and "Playboy" (her fiction was published in the same issue as her centerfold) presents Sleeping With Bad Boys: A Juicy Tell-All of Literary New York in the Fifties and Sixties. Sleeping With Bad Boys lives up to its title and then some, offering lusty, sexy, between-the-sheets tell-alls about James Dean, Normain Mailer, Hugh Hefner, Philip Roth, and William Gaddis. Though sensual elements are definitely a highlight, Sleeping With Bad Boys isn't all sex, all the time; chapters also tell of the author's road to maturity, and pivotal events in her life, from private family emergencies to the assassination of JFK. Written in an anecdotal style of brief, discrete passages that lend themselves to being read a little bit at a time or all at once, Sleeping With Bad Boys is utterly absorbing from cover to cover and enthusiastically recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Carl
Her struggle to succeed in publishing her writing is admirable, but the titillating bits of sexual exploits though interesting detract from the main story. ... Read more

7. Playboy November 1967
by Hugh, Editor Hefner
 Unknown Binding: Pages (1967-01-01)

Asin: B000NKZV1A
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8. Mr Playboy Hugh Hefner & the America Signed Edition
by Steven Watts
 Hardcover: Pages (2008)
-- used & new: US$20.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003BWGSCI
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9. Hugh Hefner's First Funeral and Other True Tales of Love and Death in Chicago
by Pat Colander
 Paperback: 172 Pages (1985-05)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$4.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0809255456
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10. Playboy Magazine, October 1996
by Hugh Hefner
Paperback: 178 Pages (1996-10)
-- used & new: US$2.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0012E053U
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Editorial Review

Product Description
SAMATHA FOX pictorial, Jay Leno interview, Jimmy Smits interview ... Read more

11. LeRoy Neiman: Femlin
by LeRoy Neiman, Hugh Hefner
Hardcover: 186 Pages (2007-11-14)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$24.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1595821384
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
When LeRoy Neiman and Hugh Hefner met in the early 1950s, while Neiman was doing women's high fashion drawings and Hefner was a copywriter in a Chicago department store, neither could have predicted that a twelve-inch woman called Femlin was waiting in the wings. But Femlin is mischievous. She's spunky. And she knows how to strike while the iron is hot.Fifty years later, Femlin is still going strong and sassy. Neiman has drawn her for every issue of Playboy for the last half-century, showing her at play, at sport, and at her ease. Wearing her trademark heels, stockings, and gloves - and not much else - Femlin has become a beloved icon of Playboy...and a celebrity in her own right.M Press is honored to present 50 years of LeRoy Neiman's Femlin drawings, some of which have never before seen in print. With text and images by Neiman, and an afterword by Playboy founder and publisher Hugh M. Hefner, the Femlin is shown in all her flattering historical light. As she says "It's about time I got my own book!" ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Femlin Forever!!

Its amazing how Leroy Neiman just takes any gesture to capture Femlin and create a playful world for her to live in. I really appreciate all the
under drawing that he does, it show such substance in skill and that he is attuned to his art. Wonderful Book...great fun!

5-0 out of 5 stars Femlin, an American icon for 50 years.
Femlin is a fun-loving pixie who first appeared in the pages of Playboy in 1957, and has been in every issue since then. In that time, she has come to represent the magazine perhaps as much as the famous "bunny" shape.
This book highlights various moments in her career, with some notes by the artist LeRoy Neiman, and an afterword by Hugh Hefner.

The book is primarily composed of hundreds of illustrations which have appeared in the magazine, divided into chapters each with a certain theme, for example, Art Lover (where she admires or sometimes mimics famous works of art), A Femlin Zodiac (in which she interacts with or even becomes the reprentation for a particular sign), Sports (Femlin demonstrates her own athletic abilities by playing with various pieces of sporting equipment), Cocktail Hour and At the Table (where she plays with food and eating utensils), etc.

Most of the illustrations are black and white, as they originally appeared. A few images do use color as accents, and one full page image shows Femlin herself in full color, the only image ever to do so.

Femlin is extemely expressive, which is all the more amazing because she is drawn with so few strokes, and so little detail. Her face, for example is delineated primarily her full eyelashes and her broad, full lips. Yet she can say SO much with just these things, conveying a full range of emotion.

Similarly, she isn't actually "anatomically correct", some details are not present, others simply suggested. Basically, she is composed of five black shapes, consisting of her hair, her two gloves, and her two stockings/shoes, plus her facial features, nipples, and in later years, her pubic triangle.

Even drawn so simply, she displays a distinctive personality, playful, inquisitive, sensitive, and affectionate, but never, ever, vulgar or obscene.

I found it interesting to see how she adapted to changes in fashion and culture through the past half-century, and a fun book to leaf through.
Readers who appreciate artistic nudity or examples of the idealized female form are likely to enjoy this book.

Printed on thick, glossy paper and bound in a high-quality hardcover, this book is a keeper. ... Read more

12. The Century of Sex: Playboy's History of the Sexual Revolution, 1900-1999
by James R. Petersen, Hugh M. Hefner
 Hardcover: 548 Pages (1999-10)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000OV16OE
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Amazon.com Review
James R. Petersen, the former Playboy Advisor, turnspop historian in The Century of Sex, a breezy, data-packedhistory of American sexual culture and politics in the 20thcentury. Although the history was commissioned by the legendaryfounder of Playboy, Hugh Hefner explains in a foreword that thesexual revolution it chronicles is "not the one that I am sometimescredited (or, conversely, blamed for) starting." And so The Centuryof Sex begins with the battle between Anthony Comstock, the early20th century's most powerful censor, and free-love advocate IdaCraddock (in which Comstock, pursuing charges of "circulation ofobscene literature" against Craddock for distributing sex-educationpamphlets through the mail, drove the activist to suicide.) Playboy's role certainly isn't overlooked, but it is situatedwithin a context that includes changing representations of sexualityin cinema, women's and gay liberation, and the advent ofcybersex. (The color plates in the middle of the book are acaptivating visual synopsis, as the images get franker and moreprovocative.) There are a few clunkers--for example, identifyingMadonna as a riot grrrl--but, all in all, Petersen's chronicle isinformative and fun. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating study of American culture
I find it incredibly entertaining that the reviewers voted "most helpful" were the ones who pooh-poohed this book as completely biased, anti-feminist, and generally useless.These are, no doubt, the very same people who never think to question governments, laws, or religious bodies.

I found the book a fascinating read, showing the constant tug-of-war between those who would force their morality on others(resulting in the Comstock Act, Mann Act, etc.) and those who believed in personal freedom of choice.The things televangelists are ranting about today as sure signs of the decline of our society - abortion, pornography, sex education - are... SURPRISE! the same things our nation has teetered back and forth on since the very beginning of the twentieth century.

Sure, there may be some bias, but the book's recounting of past injustices committed in the name of morality is eye-opening.

For example, Comstock created the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice and spearheaded the Comstock law, making it illegal to send "obscene material" through the mail.He built up quite the collection to show off to visiting senators, and was quite skilled at running roughshod over the judicial system.He dragged Ira Craddock to court for writing a manual to enhance the sex life of married couples and told the judge that it was "so obscene" the jury should not even be traumatized by looking at it.They convicted Craddock without judge or jury actually looking at the document in question.She committed suicide as a result.The Mann act (making it illegal to transport someone across state lines for licentuous purposes) was randomly enforced to imprison people those in power didn't like, such as a black boxer with a white girlfriend.Billy Graham's 1980's declaration that AIDS research should be banned, lest man interfere with the carrying out of God's justice, and other such absurdities are also covered.While later chapters perhaps overemphasize Playboy's influence a bit, in general the author did a great job of presenting the overall picture.

The book paints a rich picture of the underlying social climate throughout the century, putting America's periodical fits of Puritanism into perspective.Well worth the price of admission.

5-0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener
One could argue this book is biased, and hell, it's published in cooperation with Playboy, so that's telling in itself. But it is an interesting read, covering each decade of the 20th century, pointing out trends and controversies and boundaries, whether broken or renewed. Birth control, porn films, swinger lifestyles, AIDS, homophobia, sexual provocateurs and repressive trends are all covered and more. I found it to be very interesting and informative, and the book definitely got me thinking and I was happy to come away from the read feeling I've really learned something. For such potentially shocking material that the book covers, it never approaches the subject matter in a prurient or lecherous way. More of a sociological/historical approach to sex.

5-0 out of 5 stars Relaxation Reading
I think that it is an essential book for those who admire the finer things in life such as fast cars and beautiful women. Granted this I give this book two thumbs up, and recommend it to those who are into and value all human beauty.

1-0 out of 5 stars The bias could have been at least admitted
But this is clearly beyond the editor's comprehension. In essence, his argument states that Playboy was the sole proprietor of twentieth century sexual revolution and everybody else (especially feminists) were working against the empire that was Playboy. Not only does this create a very paranoid persona, but it also makes for shoddy book writing. Therein lies the chief problem with this self-appointed text of cultural history.

Despite the generalized title of the book, it is nothing more than an advertisement for the magagzine and a disappearing way of life. According to the author, the corporation is in decline because feminists imposed their agenda on society and worked to eliminate a market for beautiful and nubile young women. He argues that society would still be great if we could return to those carefree days of yonder.

The advent of AIDS as well as expanded opportunities for young women mean that the aspiration to be a Playboy Bunny has lessened in the last 30 years. Again, the author is so wrapped up in recreating these lost days that he does not give criticial analysis to anything that would suggest Playboy's wane is a complex set of circumstances. This is dangerously immature in the field of history. While most of the country has evolved to some degree of respect for the women's movement (which explains why Phyllis Schafley is less visible) he persists in blaming women for much of what they did not start. It says a lot about this amature "pop historian" that he simplifies the protests and concerns of women's rights activists down to internalized jealuosy because they never did look as good as the bunnies. Perhaps his book would have been better if he had attempted to see what his opposition was at least attempting to say.

Indivduals interested in a more objective but shorter account of the Playboy life ought to read or view Gloria Steinem's "A Bunny's Tale" or even the MTV history of sex and rock and roll would be better than this thinly veiled advertisement for the Playboy corporation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary Idealism through photography
True, a admire anyone who is a revolutionary speaking as one, and therefore highly recommend this book.Has many interesting pictures, and provides a stimulating picture after returning from a hard days work. Irecommend to anyone who likes photograhpy. ... Read more

13. Playboy, March 1962
by Hugh (ed.) Playboy; Hefner
 Paperback: Pages (1962)

Asin: B003QCB8PA
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14. Playboy, December 1957
by Hugh (ed.) Playboy; Hefner
 Paperback: Pages (1957)

Asin: B003PPANQ8
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15. Playboy, November 1961
by Hugh (ed.) Playboy; Hefner
 Paperback: Pages (1961)

Asin: B003PP01SS
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16. Third Playboy Annual Entertainment for Men
by Hugh M. (editor) Hefner
 Hardcover: Pages (1957-01-01)

Asin: B003NH9OWM
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

17. 20th Anniversary Playboy Reader
by Hugh Hefner
 Hardcover: Pages (1965)

Asin: B000SNNQMS
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18. Playboy, November 1960
by Hugh (ed.) Playboy; Hefner
 Paperback: Pages (1960)

Asin: B003PP6DZI
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19. Playboy, September 1957
by Hugh (ed.) Playboy; Hefner
 Paperback: Pages (1957)

Asin: B003PP02HS
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20. Playboy, August 1958
by Hugh (ed.) Playboy; Hefner
 Paperback: Pages (1958)

Asin: B003QCGVOS
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