Reflections on Physical Culture – Iron Game History – December, 2015

In the spring of 2015, Reaktion Press in Great Britain published The Temple of Perfection: A History of the Gym by Eric Chaline.’ I became aware of the book when a colleague forwarded to me a lengthy review from the Irish Times, which declared in the headline that the book was an “Exhaustive History” that “Takes Us from Ancient Greece to the Birth of Global Fitness.”2 After reading novelist Rob Doyle’s positive review, which explained Chaline’s attempt to encapsulate 2800 years of physical culture history into 245 pages, I ordered a copy for the Stark Center’s library.