Playboy Interview: Fidel Castro

“Let me state, in all frankness, that I have never harbored personal doubts or a lack of confidence. That may be good or it may be bad. But if you see your actions as objectively correct, then not having doubts is good. I must admit that pride may have influenced my attitudes from time to time. But once I came to a conclusion as to what was right, I had great personal confidence in those ideas.”

Playboy Interview: Ta-Nehisi Coates

“Things don’t just flow out of your brain. It’s not like, Hey, I’m brilliant. Show up, paper right here, bam, another banger. No—you sit and you struggle with yourself and you stop cutting your hair. I’m not cutting my hair right now. You stop shaving, like I’m not shaving right now. You remember that you can fail. I’ve failed several times. The fact that everybody else don’t see that don’t give me the right to not see it.”

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More: Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Longform Podcast

Playboy Interview: Martin Luther King Jr.

Shortly after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, King sat for what would be the longest interview he ever gave to the press.

  1. Part I

    “A strong man must be militant as well as moderate. He must be a realist as well as an idealist. If I am to merit the trust invested in me by some of my race, I must be both of these things.”

  2. Part II

    “One cannot be in my position, looked to by some for guidance, without being constantly reminded of the awesomeness of its responsibility. I live with one deep concern: Am I making the right decisions?”

Playboy Interview: Frank Sinatra

“I don’t know what other singers feel when they articulate lyrics, but being an 18-karat manic-depressive and having lived a life of violent emotional contradictions, I have an overacute capacity for sadness as well as elation. I know what the cat who wrote the song is trying to say. I’ve been there—and back. I guess the audience feels it along with me. They can’t help it. Sentimentality, after all, is an emotion common to all humanity.”

Playboy Interview: Steven Jobs

Steve Jobs, age 29.

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"It’s often the same with any new, revolutionary thing. People get stuck as they get older. Our minds are sort of electrochemical computers. Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them. It’s a rare person who etches grooves that are other than a specific way of looking at things, a specific way of questioning things. It’s rare that you see an artist in his 30s or 40s able to really contribute something amazing. Of course, there are some people who are innately curious, forever little kids in their awe of life, but they’re rare."