A NEW YORKER BEST BOOK OF 2022
'Well-researched and readable' - Financial Times
An absorbing, pacy read' - New Statesman
'The story of lycra-clad feminism' Stylist
'Canny and informative' - The New Yorker
The untold history of women's exercise culture, from jogging and Jazzercise to Jane Fonda. Author of The Cut's viral article shared thousands of times unearthing the little-known origins of barre workouts, Danielle Friedman explores the history of women's exercise, and how physical strength has been converted into other forms of power. Only in the 60s, thanks to a few forward-thinking fitness pioneers, did women begin to move en masse.
In doing so, they were pursuing not only physical strength, but personal autonomy. Exploring barre, jogging, aerobics, weight training and yoga, Danielle Friedman tells the story of how, with the rise of late-20th century feminism, women discovered the joy of physical competence - and how, going forward, we can work to transform fitness from a privilege into a right.