Updated 1/13/2004. Click on the thumbnails for more information.
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Gotch: An American Hero by Mike Chapman.
Noted author Mike Chapman's Gotch: An American Hero is an historical novel based upon the life of professional wrestler Frank Gotch, America's first world champion. Much more than a story about Frank Gotch, it's also an exciting history of sports and sports figures at the beginning of the 20th century.
1999. Paperback. 279 pages.
Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time by John Molinaro.
Just published in October 2002, Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time is more than a mere ranking of wrestling’s performers. It is a salute to the men and women who suffered enormous hardship by physically taxing their bodies every time they stepped inside the ring – all for the sake of entertaining the crowd. The lives of the industry’s biggest stars come to life on these pages, as their careers are examined thoroughly and put into the proper perspective. Historians, reporters, wrestlers and experts are consulted, providing countless stories and first-hand accounts of the lives of wrestling’s seminal figures. Read about the meteoric rise of Ric Flair, the macabre death-shroud surrounding the Von Erichs, the slaying of Bruiser Brody, the cultural phenomenon of Mexico’s El Santo and the indomitable, bristling spirit of Lou Thesz.
2002. Hardcover. 192 pages.
Wrestling: A Pictorial History by Davis Hofstede.
Wrestling: A Pictorial History is both a salute to the legendary grapplers of yesteryear and to the dynamic, daring sports entertainers of today. Beginning at traveling carnivals in the 1900s, wrestlers known as "hookers" would issue open challenges for cash prizes. In the 1920s, champions such as Frank Gotch and Joe Stecher would wrestle title matches before sold-out stadium crowds. Wrestling faded in the '30s and '40s, only to achieve a stunning comeback thanks to the medium of television.
The fans may think their favourite sport began with the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, but professional wrestling has been entertaining audiences for more than 100 years. This book forges the link between wrestling's fascinating past and its current wave of unprecedented popularity. Through stunning, rare photos, the book brings together "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers and "Nature Boy" Ric Flair; Lou Thesz and Bill Goldberg; Ed "Strangler" Lewis and the macabre Undertaker, among others. 2001. Paperback. 150 pages.
Strongman: Vintage Photos of a Masculine Icon by Robert Mainardi, with a foreword by Jules Bacon
Assembled from a world-class collection of rare vintage photographs spanning the 1880s to the early 1950s, Strongman showcases images of the famous as well as the forgotten. Herculean specimens abound: Tony Sansone (The Most Beautiful Man in America), Eugene Sandow (The Strongest Man in the World), and fitness mogul Jack Lalanne all bulk in, testing the elasticity of their posing garb. Alongside these professional competitors are equally fascinating period snapshots that provide a candid peak at anonymous muscular men aspiring to the icon. 112 pages. Numerous photos.
Sandow the Magnificent: Eugen Sandow and the Beginnings of Bodybuilding by David Chapman
Noted author and historian David Chapman engagingly portrays one Eugen Sandow, who not only invented the business of bodybuilding, but would go on to define the parameters of masculine beauty.
Muscle Quest: Training Secrets of the Super Stars by Thorne Embleton and others.
Published by Musclemag International, this comprehensive text covers the major bodybuilding stars of the last 60 years, including biographies, contests won, and training routines. Paperback. 400 pages
Muscletown USA : Bob Hoffman and the Manly Culture of York Barbell by John D. Fair.
From the 1930s to the 1980s, the capital of weightlifting in America was York, Pennsylvania, the home of the York Barbell Company. Bob Hoffman, the founder of York Barbell, propagated an ideology of success for Americans seeking physical improvement. Often called the "Father of World Weightlifting," Hoffman was a pioneer in marketing barbells and health foods. He popularized weight training and inaugurated a golden age of American weightlifting. Muscletown USA---part biography, part business history, and part sports history---chronicles how Hoffman made York the mecca of manly culture for millions of followers worldwide. Paperback. 420 pages.
Remembering Muscle Beach : Where Hard Bodies Began : Photographs and Memories by Harold Zinkin and Bonnie Hearn.
Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California is known as the birthplace of the physical-fitness boom in America. In the 1930s and 1940s, it was the trendsetting spot where Steve Reeves, Jack LaLanne, the Tanny Brothers, and Joe Gold built their bodies, as well as their reputations. With first-hand experience in the world of hard bodies, author Harold Zinkin (the first Mr. California as well as inventor of the Universal Gym Machine) tells the story of Muscle Beach and the people who worked out on its sand. He shares not only the stories of Hollywood celebrities who frequented Muscle Beach, including Mae West, Jane Russell, Jayne Mansfield, and Kirk Douglas, but also provides an insider's account and photographic view of how this small strip of sand became a haven for the health-conscious and bodies beautiful. Hardcover. 128 pages.
Physique Era Photography and History
Al Urban: American Photography of the Male Nude 1940-1970
This book explores the physique photography of Al Urban.
The Male Ideal : Lon of New York and the Male Physique by Reed Massengill
This book chronicles the work of famed physique photographer Lon of New York.
3-D Physiques: The Stereo Nudes of Denny Denfield by David Chapman
San Francisco photographer Denny Denfield snapped numerous muscular men using stereo photography, or 3-D. Using the plastic 3-D viewer included, these images will come to life. 64 pages, 59 color stereo photos.
California Boys: Photographs from the 1960s and 1970s by Mel Roberts and others
This volume of Mel Roberts' work marks the first time in more than 20 years since Roberts' work has been available to the public.
Beefcake: The Muscle Magazines of America 1950-1970 by Valentine Hooven
This book is essential for an understanding of the history of beefcake photography. 159 pages, with photos.
Between Men by Hans Fahrmeyer
Noted photographer Hans Fahrmeyer had developed a riveting portfolio of intimate, stirring images of male nudes.
The Naked Heartland: Bruce of Los Angeles.
The photographs in this book were taken from a stack of Bruce Harry Bellas's (aka Bruce of Los Angeles) unpublished private photo albums. Most photos date from the 1940s. Hardcover. 128 pages, with 140 photos.
The Complete Reprint of Physique Pictorial: 1951-1990.
The Complete Reprint of Physique Pictorial is a three-volume set containing reprints of every issue of Physique Pictorial, produced by the Athletic Model Guild (AMG). Models include Ed Fury, Larry Scott, Gary Conway, Glenn Corbett, and hundreds more. 2,600 pages/three volumes/6,000 photos
Physique : The Life of John S. Barrington.
Rupert Smith chronicles the life of John Barrington, who was a pioneering physique photographer from the 1940s through the 1960s. Published 1997.
Contemporary Physique Photography
The Bear: Essentials by Bruno Gollop.
This hardcover book contains 104 pages filled with images of men.
Titan Men released by Titan Media.
Another great Verlag publication featuring the men of Titan's video offerings.
Kristen Bjorn: Men of the World by Kristen Bjorn.
This hardcover offering from legendary photographer Kristen Bjorn features 120 pages of his models, many of whom have appeared in Bjorn's videos.
Sango by Kalle Pieper.
Pieper offers this 76-page hardcover look at African American men, with beautiful photographs.
Brother Iron, Sister Steel: A Bodybuilder's Book by Dave Draper.
Newly published and getting great reviews, Brother Iron, Sister Steel is a unique book about not only bodybuilding and creating a healthy life style, but also of Draper's humble beginnings and anecdotes about his associations with other bodybuilders from the "Golden Era" of bodybuilding. This book is for both men and women to enjoy and learn from. Paperback. 336 pages. Published by On Target Publications.
Getting Stronger : Weight Training for Men and Women by Bill Pearl.
Bill Pearl, a bodybuilding legend, is coauthor of Getting Stronger, which is considered by many to be the most important book ever on weight training. The book also contains simple, straightforward and useful chapters about diet, health, and the ways the body works (and doesn't work). Originally published in 1986. Paperback. 464 pages.
Fabulously Fit Forever by Frank Zane.
Frank Zane continues to be a pioneer in the bodybuilding world and is one of the best at articulating his knowledge. This book outlines how bodybuilding interacts with psychological development and highlights basic methods for using meditation to get the most out of bodybuilding and life. Paperback. 340 pages. Published by Thunder's Mouth Press.
Frank Zane: Mind, Body, Spirit by Frank Zane.
Published in 1997, this ground-breaking guide is based on the training diaries of the world's top bodybuilding champion. Zane's work incorporates spiritual elements, positing the gym as both a workout center and a space for personal transformation. More than 100 photos. Paperback. 320 pages.
Muscle Building 101: The Fundamentals of Shaping Your Physique by Robert Kennedy Jr. and others
Muscle Building 101 is a complete bodybuilding book of know-how. Though written with beginners in mind, this book is light-years beyond mere basic instruction in the art and science of adding muscle to reshape the physique. Paperback. 112 pages.
The Body Sculpting Bible for Men by James Villepigue and Hugo Rivera
This is a complete guide for men who seek the perfect physique. Men everywhere seek the winning recipe for the ideal body: the right amount of muscle tone, washboard abs, a chiseled chest, big guns, big and broad shoulders, and tight buns. Two certified trainers have put together this book in order to create the perfect look: Fitness experts James Villepigue and Hugo Rivera reveal a sure-fire plan for male body sculpting, including proper exercises and fitness techniques that allow men to gain lasting results; an easy-to-follow balanced diet plan that provides essential nutrition for men; and detailed progress charts, workout schedules and resistance training guidelines guaranteed to have any man looking his best. 160 pages. 100 photos.
Joe Weider's Ultimate Bodybuilding by Joe Weider and Bill Reynolds.
This book is based on the training principles of the Weider System of Bodybuilding, which have been followed by literally every bodybuilder in the modern history of the sport. Weider began developing his system back in the 1930s, continuing to refine it over the years. Paperback. 528 pages.
Ironman's Ultimate Guide to Building Muscle Mass (Ironman Magazine Series 2).
Edited by Peter Sisco, this volume containts information of how most current bodybuilders train along with a how-to-guide that includes the best mass-building routines. 256 pages. Published 1999.
Ironman's Ultimate Bodybuilding Encyclopedia (Ironman Magazine Series).
Edited by Peter Sisco, this entry in the Ironman series is loaded with photos of the greatest bodybuilders performing the recommended weight-training exercises. 500 pages. Published 1999.
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