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Playboy: Fifty Years: The Photographs 
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Product Details 
240 pages 
Chronicle Books 
Published 2003 
From Publishers Weekly 
You mean people don't read Playboy for the Nabokov stories and hard-hitting reportage? Sturdily produced, this is a candy-colored, unpretentious gaze over a half-century of nudity, fun, sex and the most absurd fashions this side of Cukor's The Women. Playboy was genuinely shocking in its youth, but these 250 color pictures, compared to what's out there now, emphasize control and stardom. Here's the first centerfold, Marilyn Monroe, as the "Golden Dream." Here are Ursula Andress, bent in half like a cupid's bow; Pamela Anderson and Dorothy Stratten; the sensational Russ Meyer "actress" Edy Williams floating across the sinuous blue of the perfect swimming pool. Herb Ritts's photographs of the models Stephanie Seymour, Cindy Crawford and Elle Macpherson are suitably iconic, as are David Bailey's tawny Catherine Deneuve and Chris Von Wangenheim's Raquel Welch in blue, black and white. The text is a second thought indeed, but it's serviceable, the work of longtime Playboy staffer Peterson. Playboy lured some great artists into its pages, including Warhol, Antonioni, Helmut Newton and Brett Weston, but judging from what's here, none seem to have done their best work for the magazine. On the whole, 50 Years is largely unpretentious-with one exception, trying to persuade us that the "triptych" of black-and-white head shots that lines the bottom of the opening page to each Playboy Interview is somehow some new kind of art form. In truth Playboy's major innovation was the centerfold, unfolding out of the book as though too big for its britches. 
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.  
Book Description 
Playboy celebrates its 50th anniversary with this lavish collection of the very best of the magazine's photography. More than 250 full-color photographs, chosen from the ten million images preserved in the Playboy archive, chronicle five decades of brilliant, life-affirming art. Playboy: 50 Years revisits the girl next door, the sex symbols, and the gods and goddesses who shaped our culture. It visually tracks the changing politics, fashions, and mores through the frenzied peak of the sexual revolution and beyond - from the almost nostalgic eroticism of the 50s bachelor, a martini his secret of seduction, to the highly charged images of modern sexuality. Celebrity models such as Raquel Welch and Cindy Crawford, along with interview subjects such as Mohammed Ali and Salvador Dali, and infamous bunnies such as Anna Nicole Smith and Pamela Anderson reveal all. Portfolios devoted to the bachelor pad, the perfect cocktail, fashion, and sports cars celebrate Playboy as the ultimate wish book. From the history-making red velvet shot of Marilyn Monroe, "posed with nothing on except the radio," to the highly charged images of such masters as Herb Ritts and Helmut Newton, this book is a breath-taking photographic tour de force. The definitive gift of the season, Playboy: 50 Years is also the only book being published in the fall to coincide with the launch of the magazine's 50th anniversary.
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