BBB: Mr. America: the Tragic History of a Bodybuilding Icon – John D. Fair


Are you starting a collection of history books related to the Iron Game? Do you aspire for a future in this research business and lifting weight is such a big part of your life that you figured you would combine the two? Or have you been following us for a while now and these BBBs pushed you to start reading again? (Awww thanks)

Well, whatever the reason, you need more John Fair in your life. Our first BBB of Fair’s work is his latest (published) Mr. America: the Tragic History of a Bodybuilding Icon. With a career as a British Historian, Fair heard the call of the Iron and decided to use his skills to advance the embryonic research of physical culture.

The main purpose of this book is to study the confusing and at times controversial history of the Mr. America contests (yes there were two different Mr. Americas – details in a separate post). By doing so, Fair also reveals and expounds on some of the major conflicts in the iron game: Weider v Hoffman, Weider v AAU, Weider v Lurie. With short introductions to some of the biggest names in the business, readers will not only learn the history of each of these men, their organizations, and their ideologies, but will also be presented to various themes that were present in the history of bodybuilding and the Mr. America contest – most noteworthy of which is racism.

With Fair’s great writing, extensive knowledge, access to a variety of primary and secondary sources, and with his chance to interview various key players in this history, Mr. America: the Tragic History of a Bodybuilding Icon should be on your wish list, your desire list, in your cart, and on your nightstand.

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