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Body by Weimar: Athletes, Gender, and German Modernity (Hardback)
  • Body by Weimar: Athletes, Gender, and German Modernity (Hardback)
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Body by Weimar: Athletes, Gender, and German Modernity (Hardback)

(author)
£45.49
Hardback 200 Pages / Published: 28/10/2010
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Body by Weimar argues that male and female athletes fundamentally recast gender roles during Germany's turbulent post-World War I years and established the basis for a modern body and modern sensibility that remain with us to this day. Athletes in the 1920s took the same techniques that were streamlining factories and offices and applied them to maximizing the efficiency of their own flesh and bones. Sportswomen and men embodied modernity - quite literally - in all of its competitive, time-oriented excess and thereby helped to popularize, and even to naturalize, the sometimes threatening process of economic rationalization by linking it to their own personal success stories. Enthroned by the media as the new cultural icons, athletes radiated sexual empowerment, social mobility, and self-determination. Champions in tennis, boxing, and track and field showed their fans how to be "modern," and, in the process, sparked heated debates over the limits of the physical body, the obligations of citizens to the state, and the relationship between the sexes. If the images and debates in this book strike readers as familiar, it might well be because the ideal body of today - sleek, efficient, and equally available to men and women - received its first articulation in the fertile tumult of Germany's roaring twenties. After more than eighty years, we still want the Weimar body.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195395648
Number of pages: 200
Weight: 426 g
Dimensions: 239 x 163 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Jensen deftly handles a wide range of sources to create a compelling argument for the significance of sport for Weimar society * Clare Tebbutt, European Review of History *
Jensen has written a detailed study that provides great insight into gender constructions in three kinds of Weimar sports. * Nadine Rossol, European History Quarterly *
Jensen makes a solid contribution to the literature on the body and a convincing case for the centrality of sport to the political and cultural Zeitgeist. Body by Weimar reminds us why both popular culture and somatic experience are central to examining processes of change. * Yvette Florio Lane, Journal of Social History *
In this innovative, eloquently written, and generally convincing book, Jensen sets out to show that Weimar-era discourses about sports shed new light on a range of major problems, from Germans' responses to the lost war and Versailles Treaty to conflicts over the demise of established patriarchal gender roles and the pre-war cultural pre-eminence of the educated bourgeoisie (Bildungsbuergertum) ... Jensen's exceptional skill at weaving different genres of sources into his narrative and his beautiful writing make the book a joy to read. * Julia Roos, Journal of Contemporary History *

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