Thursday, July 23, 2009

Book review: Mr. America: How Muscular Millionaire Bernarr Macfadden Transformed the Nation... by Mark Adams




Book
: Mr. America: How Muscular Millionaire Bernarr Macfadden Transformed the Nation Through Sex, Salad, and the Ultimate Starvation Diet by Mark Adams

About: The rise and fall of Bernaar MacFadden, a great promoter of what he called "Physical Culture" which espoused fasting, exercise and healthy eating. Magazines, books, health centers and even a religion are created by Macfadden in order to bolster his cause, bank account and ego. As I had never heard of Macfadden before this book, you can imagine that his huge popularity and empire doesn't last.

Pros: A thorough look at a forgotten man, some of whose ideas were ahead of their time (such as eat less, exercise more). Includes notes and bibliography. Adams even tries some of Macfadden's health regimens like fasting and eating all raw foods.

Cons: Pictures in a clump in the middle of the book, I like them spread out and placed where they fit the text. No in-text citations. Because Macfadden had so many business ventures, it can sometimes read like a dry business book.

Grade: B

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