PHOTOS: Global Male Bonding Through Bodybuilding

Universal Hunks: A Pictorial History of Muscular Men Around the World, 1895-1975 shows rare historic images of bodybuilding as a world-wide phenomenon.



Bodybuilding has a notably long history. Still, its mainstreaming is a recent phenomenon in the United States where it was first popularized by Arnold Schwarzenegger during the late '70s and early '80s. To see large all-male-only groups from around the world dedicated to bodybuilding is revealing about those cultures.

And that's why Universal Hunks is such a captivating visual tour of musclemen from all parts of the globe that includes photographs, posters, advertisements, magazine and comic book covers, product packaging, and more. Author and collector David L. Chapman considers the eroticized, politicized, and commercialized male image through history and evaluates its fascinating cultural context by country and continent.

Chapman’s collection includes bodybuilders from more than 70 countries — from Zulu warriors to Japanese acrobats, German strongmen to Egyptian athletes. (Go to Arsenal Pulp Press for more information.)

Check out selections from Universal Hunks on the following pages >>>

In April 1902, a dozen Sokol athletes from Bohemia went to Vienna for a meet and proudly had this photo taken by Ferdinand Grega, a professional photographer in the Kleine Sperlgasse.

Tags: Books