A wild and uncompromising history of four infamous magazines and the outlaws behind them, Dirty! Dirty! Dirty! is the first book to rip the sheet off of the sleazy myth-making machine of Hugh Hefner and Playboy, and reveal the doomed history of Hefner’s arch rival, Penthouse founder Bob Guccione, whose messiah complex and heedless spending — on a legendary flop of a movie paid for with bags of cash, a porn magazine for women, and a pie-in-the sky scheme for a portable nuclear reactor —fueled the greatest riches to rags story ever told.
The adventure begins in the early 1950s and rips through the tumultuous ’60s and ’70s —when Hustler’s Larry Flynt and Screw’s Al Goldstein were arrested dozens of times, recklessly pushing the boundaries of free speech, attacking politicians, and putting unapologetic filth front and center — through the 1990s when a sexed-up culture high on the Internet finally killed the era when men looked for satisfaction in the centerfold. As America goes, so goes it’s porn.
Along the way we meet many unexpected heroes—John Lennon, Lenny Bruce, Helen Gurley Brown, and the staff of Mad magazine among them—and villains—from Richard Nixon and the Moral Majority to Hugh Hefner himself, whose legacy, we learn, is built on a self-perpetuated lie.