Strong, Beautiful and Modern: National Fitness in Britain, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, 1935-1960 by Charlotte MacDonaldStrong, Beautiful and Modern: National Fitness in Britain, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, 1935-1960 by Charlotte MacDonald

Strong, Beautiful and Modern: National Fitness in Britain, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, 1935…

byCharlotte MacDonald

Paperback | July 1, 2013

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In the late 1930s and early 1940s, a wave of state-sponsored“national fitness” programs swept Britain and its formersettler colonies. Following revelations of Nazi enthusiasm forgovernment-backed sports and the organization of mass leisure, theprograms quickly foundered. They are attributed, however, with layingthe foundations for the twentieth century’s obsession withfitness — a key facet of modern life.

In this highly original account, Charlotte Macdonald shows howgovernments became convinced they must encourage citizens to behealthier and more active, and how these efforts reinforced thecultural ties of the Empire. Alongside these state-sponsored effortswas a growing emphasis from business, the medical establishment, andpopular culture on the importance of having “a betterbody.”

Strong, Beautiful and Modern explains the origins of themodern preoccupation with “the body.” At a time whengovernment concern over public health issues such as obesity is onceagain on the rise, this work offers valuable lessons as to why thefirst national fitness drive was ultimately a failure.

Drawing on extensive research, Strong, Beautiful and Modernis a lively investigation into the way people and their governmentsthink about  health and well-being, and how historical views haveshaped our modern life.

Charlotte Macdonald is a professor of history at Victoria University of Wellington. She has strong interests in women’s history, both in New Zealand and the wider British Empire, and in the history of sport. Publishing widely on these subjects, Charlotte Macdonald is also the co-editor (with Frances Porter) of My Hand Will Write...
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Title:Strong, Beautiful and Modern: National Fitness in Britain, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, 1935…Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:July 1, 2013Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774825294

ISBN - 13:9780774825290

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Reviews

Table of Contents

Introduction

1 Movement is Life: National Fitness in England and Scotland

2 Leisure and Democracy: Physical Welfare as the People’sEntitlement in New Zealand

3 Education or Health? National Fitness in New South Wales andAcross Australia

4 Fitness for War and a Changed World: National Fitness inCanada

5 Healthy Bodies, States and Modernity: A Twentieth-CenturyDilemma

Endnotes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

Strong, Beautiful and Modern is an outstanding book: fresh, original and panoramic. - Tony Collins, International Centre for Sports History and Culture, De Montfort University, Leicester