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The Scholars & Iron Podcast

Jul 14, 2020

The ideal physique is often seen as a product of individual labor, and could be interpreted in some sense as counter-cultural to how most people look today. But did you know that in the 1930s, the US government was actively promoting and shaping the ideal masculine physique? It’s hard to imagine any administration doing such a thing, but according to Dr Rachel Moran, in her book, Governing Bodies, presidents such as Franklin Roosevelt as well as John F Kennedy were spearheading state-wide initiatives to get American men looking lean and strong. I spoke to Dr Moran, who’s an assistant professor of history at the University of North Texas about her book, and some of its key findings.