ISBN13:978-0809055470 ISBN10: 0809055473 This edition has also been released as: ISBN13: 978-0809088621 ISBN10: 0809088622
Summary: An important new work from one of our premier cultural historians. Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man considers the surprisingly complex evolution in representations of the white male body in late-nineteenth-century America, during years of rapid social transformation. John F. Kasson argues that three exemplars of physical prowess -- Eugen Sandow, an international vaudeville star and bodybuilder; Edgar Rice Burroughs's fictional hero Tarzan; and the great escape ar
tist Harry Houdini -- represented both an ancient ideal of manhood and a modern commodity. They each extolled self-development, self-fulfillment, and escape from the confines of civilization while at the same time reasserting its values. This liberally illustrated, persuasively argued study analyzes the thematic links among these figures and places them in their rich historical and cultural context.
Summary: An important new work from one of our premier cultural historians. Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man considers the surprisingly complex evolution in representations of the white male body in late-nineteenth-century America, during years of rapid social transformation. John F. Kasson argues that three exemplars of physical prowess -- Eugen Sandow, an international vaudeville star and bodybuilder; Edgar Rice Burroughs's fictional hero Tarzan; and the great escape artist Harry Houdini -- represented both an ancient ideal of manhood and a modern commodity. They each extolled self-development, self-fulfillment, and escape from the confines of civilization while at the same time reasserting its values. This liberally illustrated, persuasively argued study analyzes the thematic links among these figures and places them in their rich historical and cultural context. ...show less
Edition/Copyright:01 Cover: Paperback Publisher:Hill and Wang Published: 07/28/2002 International: No
View Author Bio
Kasson, John F. :
John F. Kasson, who teaches history and American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the author of Amusing the Million, Rudeness and Civility, and Civilizing the Machine.
". . . This is a page-turner of a book, with a surprise worth knowing on every beautifully written page."
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