Playboy and the Making of the Good Life in Modern America

ISBN-10: 0195386108
ISBN-13: 9780195386103
Edition: 2009
List price: $31.95
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Description: Playboy was more than a magazine filled with pictures of nude women and advice on how to mix the perfect martini. Indeed, the magazine's vision of sexual liberation, high living, and "the good life" came to define mainstream images of postwar life.  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/5/2009
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.342

Playboy was more than a magazine filled with pictures of nude women and advice on how to mix the perfect martini. Indeed, the magazine's vision of sexual liberation, high living, and "the good life" came to define mainstream images of postwar life. In exploring the history of America's most widely read and influential men's magazine, Elizabeth Fraterrigo hones in on the values, style, and gender formulations put forth in its pages and how they gained widespread currency in American culture. She shows that for Hugh Hefner, the "good life" meant the freedom to choose a lifestyle, and the one he promoted was the "playboy life," in which expensive goods and sexually available women were plentiful, obligations were few, and if one worked hard enough, one could enjoy abundant leisure and consumption. In support of this view, Playboy attacked early marriage, traditional gender arrangements, and sanctions against premarital sex, challenging the conservatism of family-centered postwar society. And despite the magazine's ups and downs, significant features of this "playboy life" have become engrained in American society.

Introduction
"We Aren't a 'Family Magazine'": Sex, Gender, and the Family Ideal in Postwar America
"Work Hard and Play Hard, Too": Modern Living and the Morality of the Playboy Life
Pads and Penthouses: Playboy's Urban Answer to Suburbanization
The Ideal (Play) Mate: Gender, the Workplace, and the Single Girl
"For Us It Is the Good Life": The Ascendant Playboy Life
"Casualties of the Lifestyle Revolution": Playboy, the Permissive Society, and Women's Liberation
Epilogue: America's Playboy Culture
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

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