Author and historian Steven Watts discusses his new book Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream on Thursday, February 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
The book traces Hefner’s personal and professional life from his childhood to his founding of Playboy magazine to his company’s transition from simple magazine publisher to a large communications and entertainment company.
Watts contends that in the process of acquiring tremendous wealth and fame, Hefner also profoundly altered American life and values. Heffner, he says, believed from the beginning that he could overturn social norms and take America with him.
Watts is a professor of history at the University of Missouri and specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of the United States. He has written articles for several publications and is the author of five books, including The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century and The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life.
Copies of Mr. Playboy will be available for sale, and Watts will sign copies purchased during the event.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Click here  to RSVP. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.