…essential reading for anyone interested in bodybuilding’s origins, significant developments, major players, controversies, critical historical moments and, perhaps most importantly, its impact on popular culture.
…a masterful work…a mammoth text - certainly no lightweight read - which stands in a class of its own.
...not just for bodybuilders...a detailed, behind-the-curtains look into an oddly fascinating sport, filled with corruption, drama, snake-oil peddlers, steroids, sexuality and so much more. No other book has approached the history of bodybuilding on this level, and with this depth. Completely neutral in its presentation, thorough and engaging...should be read by anyone with an interest in 20th century history and pop culture.
Bodybuilding: Tracing the Evolution of the Ultimate Physique is a detailed, comprehensive history of one of mankind's most unique and unusual creations: bodybuilding. It describes and examines the events, circumstances and personalities responsible for transforming muscle competition and culture from the days of Vaudeville strongman acts and beachside acrobatic teams into its modern form. Most importantly, the book documents the evolution, throughout the years, of bodybuilding's top physiques.
Yet Bodybuilding does more than simply discuss and analyze the transformation of muscle-icons. It chronicles the following items: the evolution of bodybuilding training methods and posing styles; the heated battles between prominent muscle-contest promoters; the rise to domination and stardom of Arnold Schwarzenegger; the history of racism and favoritism in contest judging; bodybuilding’s public-image problems; muscle-magazines’ use of subliminal sexuality; the invention, proliferation, use and effects of synthetic hormones; the sport-versus-pageant debate; the struggle to obtain Olympic recognition; bodybuilding murders and other crimes; and much more. With more than 150,000 words, 160 photographs and 700 individual index entries, Bodybuilding: Tracing the Evolution of the Ultimate Physique is a complete and far-reaching historical analysis - the only book of its kind in existence.