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

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9780774825290: Strong, Beautiful and Modern: National Fitness in Britain, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, 1935-1960

In this highly original account, Charlotte Macdonald shows how governments became convinced they must encourage citizens to be healthier and more active, and how these efforts reinforced the cultural ties of the Empire. Alongside these state-sponsored efforts was a growing emphasis from business, the medical establishment, and popular culture on the importance of having "a better body."

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A lively and intriguing investigation into the politics of sport and how national historical views on health and athleticism have shaped our modern world.

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In the late 1930s and early 1940s, a wave of state-sponsored "national fitness" programs swept Britain and its former settler colonies. In Strong, Beautiful and Modern, Charlotte Macdonald shows how governments encouraged citizens to be healthier and more active, thereby reinforcing the cultural ties of the Empire. At a time when government concern over public health issues such as obesity are once again on the rise, Macdonald explains why the first national fitness drive ultimately failed. This book is a lively investigation into how people and governments think about their health and well-being, and how those historical views have shaped our modern life.

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