Skip to product information
1 of 2

Swole: The Making of Men and the Meaning of Muscle

Swole: The Making of Men and the Meaning of Muscle

Regular price $28.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $28.95 USD
Sale Sold out

By Michael Andor Brodeur

From a Washington Post critic and self-described meathead: a witty, incisive, poignant exploration of male body image, from the history of the gym to the politics of superheroes to the world of manfluencers


Michael Brodeur is a Gen-X gay writer with a passion for bodybuilding and an insatiable curiosity about masculinity--a concept in which many men are currently struggling to find their place. In our current moment, where "manfluencers" on TikTok tease their audiences with their latest videos, where right-wing men espouse the importance of being "alpha," as toxic masculinity and the patriarchy are being rightfully criticized, the nature of masculinity has become murkier than ever.


In excavating this complex topic, Brodeur uses the male body as his guide: its role in cultures from the gymnasia of ancient Greece to Walt Whitman's essays on manly health, from the rise of Muscular Christianity in 19th-century America to the swollen superheroes and Arnold Schwarzeneggers of Brodeur's childhood. Interweaving history, cultural criticism, memoir, and reportage, laced with an irrepressible wit, Brodeur takes us into the unique culture centered around men's bodies, probing its limitations and the promise beyond: how men can love themselves while rejecting the aggression, objectification, and misogyny that have for so long accompanied the quest to become swole.

View full details