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.

BY Christopher Harrity

November 01 2013 3:00 AM ET

In 1964, Dimitry Dimitrievich Zhilinsky (b. 1927) created Gymnasts of the Soviet Union. The tempera on wood painting was meant to showcase the strength, grace, and beauty that the New Soviet Man was capable of attaining. Soviet Life (1956–91) was distributed in North America, and it constantly touted the glories of the socialist system. If every male in Russia looked like these gymnasts, there might have been a lot more defections to the East.

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