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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Strong, Beautiful and Modern

National Fitness in Britain, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, 1935-1960

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Strong, Beautiful and Modern

National Fitness in Britain, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, 1935-1960

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.


240 pages


Table of Contents

Introduction

1 Movement is Life: National Fitness in England and Scotland

2 Leisure and Democracy: Physical Welfare as the People’s Entitlement in New Zealand

3 Education or Health? National Fitness in New South Wales and Across Australia

4 Fitness for War and a Changed World: National Fitness in Canada

5 Healthy Bodies, States and Modernity: A Twentieth-Century Dilemma

Endnotes

Bibliography

Index

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