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Fit nation : the gains and pains of America's exercise obsession  Cover Image Book Book

Fit nation : the gains and pains of America's exercise obsession / Natalia Mehlman Petrzela.


"Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, a leading scholar and proselytizer for physical well-being, elucidates the political and social implications of America's exercise cult(ure). Delving into the paradox of why so many Americans are physically unfit, despite the power of the exercise industry, Petrzela shows fitness to be both a product and a marker of education, social class, wealth, power, and more. Like much in postwar American life, fitness has been privatized, and the resulting dominant ideology of exercise is a product of neoliberal political and culture choices. Petrzela reveals a story that puts Charles Atlas, Jane Fonda, the Chippendales, and so many lesser-known people at the center of American culture, media, and politics"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780226651101
  • ISBN: 022665110X
  • Physical Description: xvi, 443 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2023.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 389-433) and index (pages 435-443).
Formatted Contents Note:
Author's Note -- Introduction: What Is the Fit Nation? Part One: When Sweating Was Strange -- 1. Performing Civilization -- 2. No More Fat Cats or Ladies of Leisure -- 3. Sanitizing--and Selling--Fitness -- 4. California Beach Body Is Born -- Part Two: Slimming the Soft American -- 5. White Plains, the White House, and the Paradox of Prosperity -- 6. Fitness Makes Us Strong, Not Soft -- Part Three: From Margins to Mainstream -- 7. Future Belongs to the Fit -- 8. Training for Life, Body, and Mind -- 9. "Tanny Touch";10. Slimming on the Small Screen -- Part Four: Movement Culture, Redefined -- 11. Yoga and the Counterculture -- 12. Kenneth Cooper and Aerobics Universalism -- 13. Run for Your Lives!;14. Title IX and Its Limits -- 15. Swap the Fat for Your True Self -- Part Five: Feel the Burn -- 16. Daytime Disco -- 17. New Gospel of Fitness -- 18. Turning Up the Intensity -- 19. Not Quite Sports -- Part Six: Hard Bodies and Soulful Selves -- 20. Beyond Aerobics with Chanting -- 21. Strong Is the New Skinny?;22. It's Not Fitness, It's Life -- Part Seven: It's Not Working Out -- 23. Exercising in an Age of Uncertainty -- 24. Eat, Pray, Buy -- 25. Limits of "Let's Move -- 26. Pandemic and the Peloton -- 27. Broken Equipment -- Acknowledgments -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index.
Subject: Exercise > Social aspects > United States.
Physical fitness > Social aspects > United States.
Physical fitness centers > United States.
Well-being > United States.
United States.

Available copies

  • 3 of 3 copies available at Missouri Evergreen. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at North Kansas City.


  • 0 current holds with 3 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
North Kansas City Public Library 306.4613 PETRZELA 2023 (Text) 0001012503015 Nonfiction Available -

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