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Dirty! Dirty! Dirty!: Of Playboys, Pigs, and Penthouse Paupers—An American Tale of Sex and Wonder Paperback – November 1, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Dirty! Dirty! Dirty!

"[Edison] takes readers on an enthusiastic romp through the rise and fall of the major porno magazines of the 20th century, while profiling the self-imploding personalities who innovated effective ways of selling sexual fantasies to the average sexually dissatisfied male . . . An interesting study of the ways influence can snowball." —Kirkus

Dirty! Dirty! Dirty! is a book that really lives up to it’s title. It’s not only dirty—it’s funny, highly opinionated, and—God help us—informative. Hard to believe someone hasn’t written the history of American pornography before this, but Mike Edison is absolutely the man for the job.” —Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City

"Mike Edison can go toe to toe with some of the best writers of the (old) New Journalism. This is foul-mouthed popular history at its most entertaining. Plenty smart, too—and also, strange to say, poignant and loving."
—Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America

"Edison is a fast enough talker to move the reader quickly into what
turns out to be a well-crafted history of censorship and sex." –LA Weekly

"This book is a must-read for fans of girlie magazines and madcap gonzo culture." —Library Journal

"Dirty! Dirty! Dirty! An American Tale of Sex & Wonder is pure, unadulterated fun—and a testament to the talents of one of the raunchiest stars of modern gonzo journalism." —Flavorpill

"Dirty! Dirty! Dirty! reads like the lovechild of Screw magazine and Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States . . . Man-haters may be silenced in noticing that a prevalent persuasion in the book is Edison’s staunch feminism . . . he loves people and their freedoms . . . he is the gentleman pornographer.”–Jewcy.com

About the Author

Mike Edison is the former publisher of High Times magazine, a Hustler and Penthouse correspondent, and the former editor-in-chief of Screw magazine. He is the author of 28 pornographic novels and the legendary memoir I Have Fun Everywhere I Go — Savage Tales of Pot, Porn, Punk Rock, Pro Wrestling, Talking Apes, Evil Bosses, Dirty Blues, American Heroes, and the Most Notorious Magazines in the World. Edison lives and works in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593762844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593762841
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,268,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Like vaudeville and Gilded Age yellow journalism, the classic "men's magazine" provided a legitimate -- and literal -- form of release for the American masses. Like the author, I became a professional writer in the waning days of the "stroke book," when the written word was held in the same regard as the venerated beaver shot. That era likely ended with the advent of the home VCR, but Edison manages to pay homage to it with intelligence and humor. Using the holy trinity of Hefner, Guccione and Flint as the central characters, Edison makes the reader laugh, while giving the skin trade a human and often sympathetic face, placing the prurient in the context of civil rights, free speech and the brand of American puritanism that remains a powerful factor in national politics. It's a refreshing reminder that, despite their personal flaws and delusions, all three pioneers -- along with my favorite character, hysterically maladjusted Al Goldstein -- helped shape our society. With this contribution -- as scholarly as anything coming out of Harvard -- onetime Ivy Leaguer Edison does, as well. But don't worry. He doesn't take himself too seriously. Despite its prevalence in every precinct of current pop culture, Edison never forgets that it's still porn.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...as well as well researched, interesting, and informative. Mike Edison brings and insider's knowledge of both the porn and the publishing industry to the book, but he also keeps it humorous. The best thing by far is how well he transports the reader back into the mindset of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. He also can set a stage and deliver a payoff in few words, which means a lot of ground is covered here.

The history of the porn film and video business has been covered somewhat in recent years, but this is the first in-depth look at the girlie magazines, and how they became part of mainstream American culture for awhile before slinking back to the margins of society. Mr. Edison recounts the tales of four publishers, their massive success and/or failure, and then reminds us of the debt that we, as Americans who cherish our free speech, owe these idiots.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A complex analysis of the ultimate magazine pornographers of our time that focuses on how their efforts had a positive effect on freedom of speech whether you agree with their product or not. Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione, Larry Flynt and Al Goldstein (Screw Magazine) are all here. It's interesting to see who retained their fortune (Larry Flynt) and who is a facade (Hefner). This is fairly clinically written and reads well that way. Many facts of which I was not aware make this possibly a little intricate for those who just like their product. Overall a good read that reads similar to a college textbook.
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Format: Paperback
Salacious, hilarious, full of heart and smarts, and more info and insight than you can point a ___ at, I can't recommend this book enough. Edison is a renaissance raconteur and herculean First Amendment defender, with a huge sense of humor and wit to spare.

Dirty! is a fully conceived read that works on several levels: as a red-blooded American, real-life Greek tragedy raucously well told; a candid coming-of-age tale; a genuinely entertaining civics lesson (too bad most high schools won't likely use it as a text, seriously); a rock'n'roll ride; an homage to the power of print publishing; a meticulously well researched journey; and an astute argument for free speech.

And for all its shock and awe (of course it delivers that), Dirty! is also refreshingly sincere -- the truth is in the pudding. Get it, you won't regret it.
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Format: Paperback
There is something amazingly fun about the book DIRTY! DIRTY! DIRTY! by Mike Edison. I think because I trust him as a journalist it was easy for me to dive into this look at those who have really battled against what is seen as "approved" entertainment and how the business of pleasure is something that is not always understood on the surface.

The core of this book for me was the men who created the publications that began so much scandal and were the topics of underground conversations around the world. We know that businesses are in place to make money, but what happens when you lose sight of the audience and it becomes about you and proving a point? This is just one of the elements of the book that helped me to better appreciate the importance of motives and how it plays out in public theatre.

Some hail individuals like Larry Flynt and Hugh Hefners as champions of the American Dream and what it can do. Not sure if after reading this book you will feel the same way, but I do believe it will cause you to rethink what free speech might actually be costing in the long run.

Well presented with an entertaining slant, I saw Mike Edison's book as great historical fun.
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