Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man

The White Male Body and the Challenge of Modernity in America
Kasson, John F. (Book - 2002)
Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man
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An important new work from one of our premier cultural historians. Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man considers the surprisingly complex evolution in representations of the white male body in late-nineteenth-century America, during years of rapid social transformation. John F. Kasson argues that three exemplars of physical prowess - Eugen Sandow, an international vaudeville star and bodybuilder; Edgar Rice Burroughs's fictional hero Tarzan; and the great escape artist Harry Houdini - represented both an ancient ideal of manhood and a modern commodity. They each extolled self-development,self-fulfillment, and escape from the confines of civilization while at the same time reasserting its values. This liberally illustrated, persuasively argued study analyzes the thematic links among these figures and places them in their rich historical and cultural context.
Authors: Kasson, John F., 1944-
Title: Houdini, Tarzan, and the perfect man
the white male body and the challenge of modernity in America
Publisher: New York : Hill and Wang, 2002
Edition: 1st pbk. ed
Characteristics: viii, 256 p. : ill., ports. ; 22 cm
Notes: Originally published: 2001
Contents: Who is the perfect man? : Eugen Sandow and a new standard for America
The manly art of escape : the metamorphoses of Ehrich Weiss
"Still a wild beast at heart" : Edgar Rice Burroughs and the dream of Tarzan
ISBN: 9780809055470
Branch Call Number: 305.31 Ka
Statement of Responsibility: John F. Kasson
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [225]-244) and index
Subject Headings: Tarzan (Fictitious character) Human body Social aspects Masculinity in popular culture History Men in popular culture History Houdini, Harry, 1874-1926 Sandow, Eugen, 1867-1925
Topical Term: Tarzan (Fictitious character)
Human body
Masculinity in popular culture
Men in popular culture
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