Starting with the post-Civil War health craze that made names like Graham (of the cracker), Post and Kellogg (they, of cereal) household names, just the first few daguerrotypes of muscle men is worth the price of this book alone. American Hunks is encyclopedic in its accommodation of what society---and, not incidentally, the burgeoning consumer culture---considered hot.
-EDGE Publications (Boston, Chicago, etc.)
The excellent American Hunks: The Muscular Male Body in Popular Culture explores the "long and gradual striptease" of the chiseled, well-built American male as he evolved into a cultural icon far more ubiquitous than many people would care to admit.
-Outsmart Magazine (Houston)
Chapman's pithy descriptions provide fine context, and Grubisic's well-sourced preface provides intellectual heft to accompany the physical bulk.
-Richard Labonte, Book Marks
Co-authors David L. Chapman and Brett Josef Grubisic incisively address the use of homoerotic imagery in the service of political and military propaganda, grounding the stunning, often full-color reproductions in a historical context. And did we mention the visuals are smokin'?
-Just Out (Portland, OR)
Pictures of legendary physiques from original superstar hunk Eugen Sandow to Charles Atlas to Arnold Schwarzenegger appear, well produced and annotated.... What might have been a wink-wink, nudge-nudge volume is instead vital Americana.
A beautifully produced volume.... American Hunks is an important contribution to the underdeveloped social history of the visual treatment of the well-built male body as documented in drawings and photography since the middle of the 19th century.
A fascinating collection of images that are homoerotic in every sense of the word.
-Bent magazine (UK)
A delightfully eclectic compilation of historical man pix.... The photos and drawings, as selected and captioned by David L. Chapman, beautifully capture the erotic codes and cultural trajectory of the posed and naked male though the decades.
American Hunks is far more than just a photo book; it explores the culture of ideal masculinity as far back as the Industrial Revolution.... [The book] is presented in a way which is frankly fascinating. The book feels like a trip to a museum in itself, and Chapman serves as the colorful tour guide. Well written and well annotated, this book is, hands-down, the best place to start for anyone who's curious about the subject matter.
-Seattle Gay News
A wonderful collection of photographs, spanning a bit more than a century from 1860 to the early 1970s.
-Speak Its Name (blog)