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Books Currently In Print Written by Macfadden

Muscular Power & Beauty
An early book on bodybuilding and male physique, Muscular Power and Beauty was originally published in 1906. Bernarr Macfadden (1868 - 1955) was an exponent of classic Apollo and Hercules body ideals, and this book gives exercises for many different muscle groups to achieve this. The book is full of photographs illustrating the exercises which are mainly resistence type exercises (many years before Charles Atlas promoted "dynamic tension"). Remarkably, many of the photos show Macfadden nude (although not full frontal or full rear views but side views), and this must have been considered a fairly risque publication for its time. Many closeup photos of arms, chest, legs, etc. show the exercises and the impressive muscular development that Macfadden achieved.

Vitality Supreme
I'm glad to see this book by the "father of physical culture" back in print. It is truly a classic and by far the best and most useful of Macfadden's numerous books. This book mainly covers exercises for developing vitality (physical well-being and energy), but also has some good information about diet, correct breathing, fresh air, preserving the teeth, curing constipation, blood purifucation, bathing, clothing, sleep, etc. It covers a wide range of health subjects. Bernarr Macfadden (1868-1955), America's first "health guru" was definitely ahead of his time. This book presents many of his theories in a clear and readable format. The style of writing is definitely dated, but his message is clear. The photographs are numerous and excellent.

Hair Culture
This book, originally published in 1922, is one of Macfadden's best. The style is somewhat rambling, but there is much useful information that is presented clearly without scientific jargon. The book is amply illustrated with photographs both of the author and of female models with long hair. The photographs are definitely from an earlier era. Macfadden's method for restoring and/or maintaining healthy hair involved massaging the scalp, brushing the hair, and pulling the hair "to strengthen the roots." He also advocated a nutritious diet. He blamed hair loss on poor circulation to the hair roots. Eating the proper foods - especially fruits and vegetables - is vital to the health of the whole body including the hair. In many ways, Macfadden was ahead of his time. Although his writing style has a kind of "homespun," amateur quality, the content is not to be dismissed. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of natural health and/or is interested in reading about some unique and interesting ways to have healthy hair.

The Miracle of Milk
Originally published in 1923, this book touts the health benefits of milk and outlines the milk diet, which properly prepared for and properly used, is capable of bringing about miraculous changes in the physical organism.

Physical Culture Cookbook
I have used this cookbook to prepare a number of great, healthful meals. The breads and muffins are some of my favorites. The soup recipes (such as apple soup) are truly unique (and quite delicious!).

Other Books about Macfadden

Weakness Is a Crime: the Life of Bernarr Macfadden by Robert Ernst
(out of print) An excellent, scholarly book on the life of Bernarr Macfadden. It is extremely well-researched, comprehensive, and exceptionally well written. The late Dr. Ernst covers virtually all aspects of Macfadden's life from his birth to his death. Perhaps the author could be faulted because he did not focus on one area of his subject's multifaceted life, but I feel that the author (with whom I corresponded when he was writing this book) gives just the right amount of attention to the various areas of an enigmatic personality.

Body Love: the Amazing Career of Bernarr Macfadden by William R. Hunt
This is an excellent and very readable biography as well; however, the author focuses on Macfadden as a maverick publisher. It includes information on the censorship problems that plagued Macfadden and the Supreme Court case that Macfadden lost. This book should be of tremendous interest to anyone who is interested in Macfadden because of his role in the history of journalism and first amendment questions. There is also quite a bit of information on Fulton Oursler, Macfadden's managing editor for many years.