Back to top

This illustration, like that on page 31, demonstrate how crucial the cult of physical fitness was for the Soviets.

This book emphasizes a strict fitness regime for workers, in line with Lenin’s well-known practice of daily calisthenics, and inspired by the fictional revolutionary hero Rakhmetov from Nikolai Chernyshevsky’s 1863 novel What is to be Done?, who eats a special diet and maintains a regime of strengthening exercises. On page 46 a speech from the 5th Party Congress by Nikolai Bukharin is excerpted, underlining the importance of physical training for young citizens. The dietary guide excerpted from the journal Samostroi (Self-Built) on page 54, suggests 10 fresh apples a day plus two pounds of nuts and “not a drop of water.”

The illustration is accompanied by the slogan

“Agile

Control

of the Body”

 -- a slogan which is both shaped by, and shaping, the body at the center. This body is the figure of a young athlete in a striped bathing suit leaping into the air and coiling his body, about to dive.