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American Hunks

The Muscular Male Body in Popular Culture, 1860-1970

by David L. Chapman & Brett Josef Grubisic

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gay studies, popular culture
list price: $32.95
category: Social Science
published: 2009
publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
Editorial Reviews

American Hunks is far more than just a photo book; it explores the culture of ideal masculinity as far back as the Industrial Revolution.... [The book] is presented in a way which is frankly fascinating. The book feels like a trip to a museum in itself, and Chapman serves as the colorful tour guide. Well written and well annotated, this book is, hands-down, the best place to start for anyone who's curious about the subject matter.
-Seattle Gay News

— Seattle Gay News

A delightfully eclectic compilation of historical man pix.... The photos and drawings, as selected and captioned by David L. Chapman, beautifully capture the erotic codes and cultural trajectory of the posed and naked male though the decades.

— Xtra!

Co-au­thors David L. Chap­man and Brett Josef Grubisic incisively address the use of homoerotic imagery in the service of political and military propaganda, grounding the stunning, often full-color re­productions in a historical context. And did we mention the visuals are smokin'?
-Just Out (Portland, OR)

— Just Out

Pictures of legendary physiques from original superstar hunk Eugen Sandow to Charles Atlas to Arnold Schwarzenegger appear, well produced and annotated.... What might have been a wink-wink, nudge-nudge volume is instead vital Americana.

— Booklist

A fascinating collection of images that are homoerotic in every sense of the word.
-Bent magazine (UK)

— Bent

A wonderful collection of photographs, spanning a bit more than a century from 1860 to the early 1970s.
-Speak Its Name (blog)

— Speak Its Name

The excellent American Hunks: The Muscular Male Body in Popular Culture explores the "long and gradual striptease" of the chiseled, well-built American male as he evolved into a cultural icon far more ubiquitous than many people would care to admit.
-Outsmart Magazine (Houston)

— Outsmart

Starting with the post-Civil War health craze that made names like Graham (of the cracker), Post and Kellogg (they, of cereal) household names, just the first few daguerrotypes of muscle men is worth the price of this book alone. American Hunks is encyclopedic in its accommodation of what society---and, not incidentally, the burgeoning consumer culture---considered hot.
-EDGE Publications (Boston, Chicago, etc.)

— EDGE Publications

Chapman's pithy descriptions provide fine context, and Grubisic's well-sourced preface provides intellectual heft to accompany the physical bulk.
-Richard Labonte, Book Marks

— Book Marks

A beautifully produced volume.... American Hunks is an important contribution to the underdeveloped social history of the visual treatment of the well-built male body as documented in drawings and photography since the middle of the 19th century.
-Wisconsin Gazette

— Wisconsin Gazette
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About the Authors

David L. Chapman

David L. Chapman is the author of twelve books on male photography and bodybuilding, including American Hunks (Arsenal, 2009), Comin' at Ya!: The Homoerotic 3D Photographs of Denny Denfield (Arsenal, 2007), Adonis: The Male Physique Pin-up, and two other books on Denny Denfield. He lives in Seattle.

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Brett Josef Grubisic

Brett Josef Grubisic is the author of the novel The Age of Cities, published in 2006 and a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, as well as co-author of American Hunks, editor of Contra/Diction: New Queer Male Fiction and co-editor (with Carellin Brooks) of Carnal Nation: Brave New Sex Fictions. He teaches English at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

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