Mr. America: The Tragic History of a Bodybuilding Icon by John D. FairMr. America: The Tragic History of a Bodybuilding Icon by John D. Fair

Mr. America: The Tragic History of a Bodybuilding Icon

byJohn D. Fair

Hardcover | January 5, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info

$44.76

Earn 224 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store

HURRY, ONLY 2 LEFT!
Quantity:

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores

about

For most of the twentieth century, the “Mr. America” image epitomized muscular manhood. From humble beginnings in 1939 at a small gym in Schenectady, New York, the Mr. America Contest became the world’s premier bodybuilding event over the next thirty years. Rooted in ancient Greek virtues of health, fitness, beauty, and athleticism, it showcased some of the finest specimens of American masculinity. Interviewing nearly one hundred major figures in the physical culture movement (including twenty-five Mr. Americas) and incorporating copious printed and manuscript sources, John D. Fair has created the definitive study of this iconic phenomenon.

Revealing the ways in which the contest provided a model of functional and fit manhood, Mr. America captures the event’s path to idealism and its slow descent into obscurity. As the 1960s marked a turbulent transition in American society—from the civil rights movement to the rise of feminism and increasing acceptance of homosexuality—Mr. America changed as well. Exploring the influence of other bodily displays, such as the Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia contests and the Miss America Pageant, Fair focuses on commercialism, size obsession, and drugs that corrupted the competition’s original intent. Accessible and engaging, Mr. America is a compelling portrayal of the glory days of American muscle.

JOHN D. FAIR has authored six previous books, including Muscletown USA: Bob Hoffman and the Manly Culture of York Barbell. He is a retired history professor (Auburn University, Montgomery, and Georgia College & State University) and has competed in nearly eighty weightlifting/powerlifting meets, served on the national AAU weightliftin...
Loading
Title:Mr. America: The Tragic History of a Bodybuilding IconFormat:HardcoverDimensions:473 pages, 9.26 × 6.46 × 1.25 inPublished:January 5, 2015Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292760825

ISBN - 13:9780292760820

Look for similar items by category:

Reviews

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Part 1: Precedents

1. The Greek Ideal
2. The Athletic Body

Part 2: The Golden Age

3. The First Mr. America Contests
4. The Glory Years
5. Multiple Mr. Americas
6. Winds of Change

Part 3: Decline and Fall

7. The Arnold Era
8. The Sprague Revolution
9. Professionalizing Amateurism
10. Eclipse of an Icon

Epilogue and Conclusion

Appendix: Mr./Ms. America Titlists

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

For most of the twentieth century, the “Mr. America” image epitomized muscular manhood. From humble beginnings in 1939 at a small gym in Schenectady, New York, the Mr. America Contest became the world’s premier bodybuilding event over the next thirty years. Rooted in ancient Greek virtues of health, fitness, beauty, and athleticism, it showcased some of the finest specimens of American masculinity. Interviewing nearly one hundred major figures in the physical culture movement (including twenty-five Mr. Americas) and incorporating copious printed and manuscript sources, John D. Fair has created the definitive study of this iconic phenomenon.Revealing the ways in which the contest provided a model of functional and fit manhood, Mr. America captures the event’s path to idealism and its slow descent into obscurity. As the 1960s marked a turbulent transition in American society—from the civil rights movement to the rise of feminism and increasing acceptance of homosexuality—Mr. America changed as well. Exploring the influence of other bodily displays, such as the Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia contests and the Miss America Pageant, Fair focuses on commercialism, size obsession, and drugs that corrupted the competition’s original intent. Accessible and engaging, Mr. America is a compelling portrayal of the glory days of American muscle."Mr. America has the potential to be a paradigm-changer . . . bound to become the new text of record on its subject. Gender scholars with interest in masculinities, readers with an interest in popular cultural changes, and those ambitious in the field of bodybuilding and weightlifting can all find plenty of connections within this new work." - Charles Kupfer, Associate Professor of American Studies and History, Penn State Harrisburg