the largest U.S. magazines in paid circulation sales (compared to Penthouse's twenty-fourth ranking and Esquire not even making the top 100). 19 Playboy is not just a sex magazine, nor has it ever been simply that. When Playboy made its first appearance on newsstands over thirty-five years ago, few could have known its effect on the publishing industry. Not many magazines have had the enormous influence it has had on redefining the standards of the men's book trade. Hugh Hefner's concept of an "entertainment" magazine that would appeal strictly to the tastes of men met the needs of an eager public.
While Playboy may not have had the real power to change American culture, it has shown itself to be a reflection of life styles and tastes. Many critics today no longer credit Playboy with the influence it once had; they believe that Playboy has run its course, that it is out of step with today's society. Though the related industry that sprang from the magazine has fallen on hard times, the magazine itself continues to be well regarded and well read. The transition from renegade and innovator to "elder statesman" and the standard for other men's magazines has not been an easy one. But Playboy continues to maintain its appeal without losing the foundation that Hefner believes to be the very basis for its existence-- to entertain men.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: American Mass-Market Magazines. Contributors: Alan Nourie - Editor, Barbara Nourie - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1990. Page number: 374.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.