Mens sana in corpore sano — the Greco‐Roman hygienic ideal of a healthy mind in a healthy body ‐ inspired a loosely linked group of life reform and physical culture promoters, doctors, public health campaigners, and policy makers whose activities and writings from the 1880s to the late 1930s form the subject of this volume. The introduction defines body management and introduces the key figures, organizations, and policies discussed in this book. It defines the key themes of beauty, health, and fitness which were closely intertwined. Body management was a quintessentially modern phenomenon and the promotion of hygienic regimen is understood both in the sense of expanding government practice and popular self‐help purchased in the market place. Disciplinary regimen were an essential aspect of fashioning modern gendered identities and a fit and healthy body became a sign of civic virtue.
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