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The Art of Manliness

The Art of Manliness

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The Art of Manliness

The Art of Manliness

The Art of Manliness

1.4K
Followers
8.0K
Plays
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Podcast by The Art of Manliness

Latest Episodes

#633: The World and Vision of Lakota Medicine Man Black Elk

When he was nine years old in1872, Black Elk, a member of the Lakota tribe, had a near-death vision in which he was called to save not only his people but all of humanity. For the rest of his life, Black Elk's vision haunted and inspired him as he took part in many of the seminal confrontations between the Lakota and the U.S. government, including those at Little Bighorn and Wounded Knee. My guest today is the author of a biography of this native holy man. His name is Joe Jackson and his bookisBlack Elk: The Life of an American Visionary. We begin our conversation with a background of the Sioux or Lakota Indians, including how the introduction of the horse turned them into formidable hunters and warriors and how their spirituality influencedtheir warfare. Joe then introduces us to Black Elk and unfolds the vision that he had as a boy which would lead him to follow in his family's footsteps by becoming a medicine man and guide him for the rest of his life. We then take detours into the seminal battles between the U.S governmentand the Lakota that Black Elk witnessed firsthand, as well as the Sun Dance and Ghost Dance rituals which helped catalyze them.Joe then explains why Black Elk converted to Catholicism after the Indian Wars and how he fused Lakota spirituality with his newfound faith. We then discuss why Black Elk decided to tell his vision to a white poet named John Neihardt and the cultural influencethe resultingbook,Black Elk Speaks, had on the West in the 20th century. We end our conversation discussing whether Black Elk ever felt he fulfilled his vision. Get the show notes at aom.is/blackelk.

56 MIN2 d ago
Comments
#633: The World and Vision of Lakota Medicine Man Black Elk

#632: How the Internet Makes Our Minds Shallow

Have you found it harder andharder to sit with a good book for long periods of time without getting thatitch to check your phone? Well, you're not alone. My guest today makes the case that the internet has changed our brains in ways that make deep, focused thinking harder and harder. His name is Nicholas Carr, and he documented what was then a newly-emerging phenomenon ten years ago in his book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. The Shallows has now been re-released with a new afterword, and Nick and I begin our conversation with how he thinks the effect of digital technology on our minds has or hasn't changed over the last decade. We then discuss the idea of the medium being the message when it comes to the internet, and how this particular medium changes our brains and the ways we think and approach knowledge and the world. Nick then explains how we readtexts on screens differently than texts in books, why hyperlinks mess with our ability for comprehension, why it's still important to develop our own memory bank of knowledge even in a time when we can access facts from an outsourced digital brain, and how social media amplifies our craving for the fast and easy-to-digest over the slow and contemplative. We end our conversation with how Nick himself has tried to strike a balancein keeping the advantagesof the internetwhile mitigatingits downsides. Get the show notes at aom.is/shallows.

53 MIN4 d ago
Comments
#632: How the Internet Makes Our Minds Shallow

#631: How to Prevent and Survive a Home Invasion

You're lying in bed at night and hear a noise downstairs. Is there someone in your house, and if there is, do you know what to do? While we'd like to think we'd rise to the occasion and readily dispatch with the bad guys, my guest today argues that without preparation and training, you're likely toflounder, and that you should have put more thought into how to keep the invader out of your house in the first place. His name is Dave Young, and he's a security expert and the author ofHow to Defend Your Family and Home: Outsmart an Invader, Secure Your Home, Prevent a Burglary and Protect Your Loved Ones from Any Threat.We begin our conversation with how Dave got involved with security training, the intensive field research he did for his book, and the basic equationcriminals use in deciding whether or not to make your house a target. We then delve into how to tweak that equation in your favor, beginning with casing your house like a criminal would; we go over the vulnerabilities to look for as you walk the perimeter of your property, and the actionable changes tomake to deter would-be home invaders. Dave then walks us through what to do if someone does invade your home, including the criteria to use in picking a place tohide, choosing a weapon to fight back, and selecting an engagementpoint to confront the intruder. We also get into the importance of firearm training, if you decide to own a gun for self-defense. We end our conversation with an oft-overlooked part of surviving a home invasion: the months and years of psychological and judicial aftermath. Get the show notes at aom.is/homeinvasion.

46 MIN1 w ago
Comments
#631: How to Prevent and Survive a Home Invasion

#630: The Strategy Paradox

To be a great success in business, you need to have a compelling vision, create a well-thought-out strategy to achievethat vision, and then fully commit to that strategy with action and resources. That's also the recipe for being a great failure in business. That's what my guest argues in his bookThe Strategy Paradox: Why Committing to Success Leads to Failure. His name is Michael Raynor and we begin our discussion by describing the strategy paradox: the fact that the same sound strategy can lead to both success and failure. We discuss how the outcome then dependsless on the strategyitself, than on the idea you decide to bet on, using the example of the way Sony employed the right strategy in backing Betamax in the VCR wars, but still lost out to VHS. Raynor then explains the limitations of forecasting and adaption, the approaches companies typically use to navigate the tension between needing to commit to something, and being uncertain they've committed to the right thing. He then unpacks two more effectiveways of developing strategicflexibility: separating the management of commitment from the managementof uncertainty, and acquiring a portfolio of assets that will increase your optionality. We end our conversation with whether the strategy paradox can be applied not only to making decisions in business, but to making decisions in our personal lives as well. Get the show notes at aom.is/strategyparadox.

38 MIN1 w ago
Comments
#630: The Strategy Paradox

#629: Why We Swim

If you've been swimming since you were a child, you probably don't think too much about it anymore. But when you take a step back, the human act of swimming is a prettyinteresting thing. You weren't born knowing how to swim; it's not instinctual. So why are people so naturally drawn to water? And what do we get out of paddling around in it? My guest today explores these questions in her book Why We Swim. Her name is Bonnie Tsui, and we begin our conversation today with how humans are some of the few land animals that have to be taught how to swim, and when our ancestors first took to the water. We then discuss how peoples who have made swimming a primary part of their culture, have evolved adaptationsthat have made them better at it. We discuss how swimming can be both psychically and physically restorative and how it can also bring people together, using as an example a unique community of swimmers which developed during the Iraq War inside one of Saddam Hussein's palaces. We also talk about the competitiveelement of swimming, and how for thousands of years it was in fact a combat skill, and even took the form of a martial art, called samurai swimming, in Japan. We end our conversation with how swimming can facilitateflow, and some of the famous philosophers and thinkers who tuned the currents of their thoughts whileglidingthrough currents of water. Get the show notes at aom.is/whyweswim.

42 MIN2 w ago
Comments
#629: Why We Swim

#628: The Rise of Secular Religion and the New Puritanism

There has been a lot of civil and politicalupheavallately, and what makes the atmosphereparticularly disorienting, is that beyond the more obvious proximate and commonly-discussed causes for the turmoil, it feels like there are even deeper cultural currents and contexts at play, thatare yet hard to put one's finger on and understand. There's a fervor in the debates and conflict that almost seems . . . religious. My guest today would say that's exactly the right word to describe the tenor of things. His name is Jacob Howland, he's a recently retired professor of philosophy, and the currents at play in today's world are things he's spent his whole career studying -- from Plato and Aristotle to the Hebrew Bible and Kierkegaard, with a particularemphasison the politicalphilosophyof the ancient Greeks. Howland draws on all those areas to weave together a kind of philosophical roadmap to how we've arrived at our current cultural zeitgeist. In particular, Howland makes the case that what we're seeing today is the rise of a kind of secular religion, a new Puritanism, that worships at what he calls"the Church of Humanity." This new Puritanismbases the idea of moral purity around one's views on issues like race and gender, and seeks to purge anyone who doesn't adhere to the proscribed dogma. Jacob walks us through the tenets of the dominant influence on this secular religion -- a strain of modern thought called "critical theory" -- and offers a kind of philosophical genealogy on what led up to it, which includes the ideas of Rousseau, Marx, and Hegel. We discuss how critical theory contrasts with classical liberalism, and approaches people as members of groups rather than as individuals, and as abstractions rather than particulars, and how this lens on the world leads to identity politics and cancel culture. We delve into Kierkegaard's prophecies on the leveling of society, and how the modern tendency to make man the measure of all things can leave us feeling spiritually and intellectually empty, and looking to politics to fill an existential void it can't ultimately satisfy. We end our conversation describing the sustenance which can. Get the show notes at aom.is/howland.

74 MIN2 w ago
Comments
#628: The Rise of Secular Religion and the New Puritanism

#627: How to Deal With Jerks, Bullies, Tyrants, and Trolls

There are some people in life who are more than unpleasant, more than annoying. They're real, genuine a**holes. My guest today has written the preeminent field guides to identifying, dealing with, and avoiding all of life'sjerks, bullies, tyrants, and trolls: The No Asshole Rule and The Asshole Survival Guide. His name is Bob Sutton, he's a Stanford professor of organization and management, and we begin our conversation together with how Bob defines what makes an a-hole an a-hole, what causes their jerkiness, and the costs of having such disagreeablepeople as part of an organization. We then get into the circumstances of when being a jerk yourself can actually be advantageous. We then turn to how to deal with the jerks in your own life, including distancing yourself from them, deciding you're going to be better than them, and imagining you're a jerk collector encountering a new species of jerk. Bob explains smart ways to fight back against jerks, and gets into the wisdom of documenting their jerkiness, why it's occasionally helpful to take an aggressive stand, and how even Steve Jobs learned how to be less of an a-hole. We end our conversation with how to build a jerk-free workplace. Get the show notes at aom.is/jerks.

38 MIN3 w ago
Comments
#627: How to Deal With Jerks, Bullies, Tyrants, and Trolls

#626: How to Declutter Every Aspect of Your Work Life

When you think about decluttering, you probablythink about your home life, and cleaningout your junk drawer and closets. But there are also ways to declutter your work life and tidy up both its physical and digitalaspects. My guest today explains the art of practicingminimalismin your professional life in a book he co-authored with organizing expert Marie Kondo. His name is Scott Soneshein, he's a professor of business and management, and his book isJoy at Work. Scott and I begin our conversation by unpacking the benefits of keeping your work life neat and tidy, and then move into how to do this in regards to your physical workspace. Scott shares three questions to ask yourself when you declutteryour office to help you decide which items to keep and which to throw away. We also take a useful aside into how to throw away your children's artwork with less guilt. We then move into how to declutter your digitallife by cleaning up your email inbox and smartphone. We end our discussion with several areas you may not think of in terms of clutter, but probably need some tidying up: your activities, decisions, network, and meetings. Get the show notes at aom.is/declutterwork.

41 MIN3 w ago
Comments
#626: How to Declutter Every Aspect of Your Work Life

#625: The Code of the Warrior

War is a violent and bloody business, but it's rarely a no-holds barred free-for-all. Instead, codes of conduct that determine what is and isn't honorable behavior on the battlefield have existed since ancient times. My guest today explored these various codes in a book she wrote during the decade she spent teaching at the United States Naval Academy. Her name is Shannon French, she's a professor of ethics and philosophy, and her book isThe Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values Past and Present. Shannon and I begin our conversation with the pointed questions she used to pose to the cadets she taught as to how being a warrior was different than being a killer or murderer, and when killing is and isn't ethical. She then explains how the warrior codes which developed all around the world arose organically from warriors themselves for their own protection, and how thesecodes are more about identity than rules. Shannon and I then take a tour of warrior codes across time and culture, starting with the code in Homer'sIliad, and then moving into the strengths and weaknesses of the Stoic philosophy which undergirded the code of the Romans. From there we unpack the code of the medieval knights of Arthurian legend, what American Indians can teach soldiers about the need to make clear transitions between the homefront and the warfront, and how the Bushido code of the samurais sought to balance the influence of four different religions. We end our conversationwith the role warrior codes play today in an age of increasingly technologized combat. Get the show notes at aom.is/warriorcode.

59 MINJUL 8
Comments
#625: The Code of the Warrior

#624: The Crazy, Forgotten Story of America's First Fitness Influencer

The topic of health and fitness has long been a popular one for magazines, and in most recent times, for blogs and Instagram accounts. But what these modern publishers and influencers probably don't realize is that they're standing on the shoulders of an ambitious eccentric who laid the foundation for much of modern American media: Bernarr Macfadden. My guest today is Mark Adams, who wrote a biography of this proto fitness guru called Mr. America: How Muscular Millionaire Bernarr Macfadden Transformed the Nation Through Sex, Salad, and the Ultimate Starvation Diet. Mark and I begin our conversation with how Macfadden discovereda passion for health and fitness as a young man and failed at his attempt to become a personal trainer, despite coining the motto "Weakness is a crime; don't be a criminal." We then discuss how Macfadden went on to start the highly successful magazine, PhysicalCulture, and then an entirepublishing empire,which pioneered many of the confessional, first-person, personal branding techniques still used today. Mark shares the tenets of Macfadden's sometimes sound, sometimes wacky health philosophy, including his advocacy of fasting, and what happened when Mark tried out some of Macfadden's protocols on himself. Mark and I then delve into how Macfaddenfounded a utopian community in the New Jersey suburbs, wasconvicted of obscenity charges,trained fascist cadets for Mussolini, and ran for U.S. senator on a physical fitness platform. We end our conversation with why Macfadden was forgotten, and yet had a lasting effect on the world of health and fitness, as well as media as a whole. Get the show notes at aom.is/macfadden.

47 MINJUL 6
Comments
#624: The Crazy, Forgotten Story of America's First Fitness Influencer

Latest Episodes

#633: The World and Vision of Lakota Medicine Man Black Elk

When he was nine years old in1872, Black Elk, a member of the Lakota tribe, had a near-death vision in which he was called to save not only his people but all of humanity. For the rest of his life, Black Elk's vision haunted and inspired him as he took part in many of the seminal confrontations between the Lakota and the U.S. government, including those at Little Bighorn and Wounded Knee. My guest today is the author of a biography of this native holy man. His name is Joe Jackson and his bookisBlack Elk: The Life of an American Visionary. We begin our conversation with a background of the Sioux or Lakota Indians, including how the introduction of the horse turned them into formidable hunters and warriors and how their spirituality influencedtheir warfare. Joe then introduces us to Black Elk and unfolds the vision that he had as a boy which would lead him to follow in his family's footsteps by becoming a medicine man and guide him for the rest of his life. We then take detours into the seminal battles between the U.S governmentand the Lakota that Black Elk witnessed firsthand, as well as the Sun Dance and Ghost Dance rituals which helped catalyze them.Joe then explains why Black Elk converted to Catholicism after the Indian Wars and how he fused Lakota spirituality with his newfound faith. We then discuss why Black Elk decided to tell his vision to a white poet named John Neihardt and the cultural influencethe resultingbook,Black Elk Speaks, had on the West in the 20th century. We end our conversation discussing whether Black Elk ever felt he fulfilled his vision. Get the show notes at aom.is/blackelk.

56 MIN2 d ago
Comments
#633: The World and Vision of Lakota Medicine Man Black Elk

#632: How the Internet Makes Our Minds Shallow

Have you found it harder andharder to sit with a good book for long periods of time without getting thatitch to check your phone? Well, you're not alone. My guest today makes the case that the internet has changed our brains in ways that make deep, focused thinking harder and harder. His name is Nicholas Carr, and he documented what was then a newly-emerging phenomenon ten years ago in his book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. The Shallows has now been re-released with a new afterword, and Nick and I begin our conversation with how he thinks the effect of digital technology on our minds has or hasn't changed over the last decade. We then discuss the idea of the medium being the message when it comes to the internet, and how this particular medium changes our brains and the ways we think and approach knowledge and the world. Nick then explains how we readtexts on screens differently than texts in books, why hyperlinks mess with our ability for comprehension, why it's still important to develop our own memory bank of knowledge even in a time when we can access facts from an outsourced digital brain, and how social media amplifies our craving for the fast and easy-to-digest over the slow and contemplative. We end our conversation with how Nick himself has tried to strike a balancein keeping the advantagesof the internetwhile mitigatingits downsides. Get the show notes at aom.is/shallows.

53 MIN4 d ago
Comments
#632: How the Internet Makes Our Minds Shallow

#631: How to Prevent and Survive a Home Invasion

You're lying in bed at night and hear a noise downstairs. Is there someone in your house, and if there is, do you know what to do? While we'd like to think we'd rise to the occasion and readily dispatch with the bad guys, my guest today argues that without preparation and training, you're likely toflounder, and that you should have put more thought into how to keep the invader out of your house in the first place. His name is Dave Young, and he's a security expert and the author ofHow to Defend Your Family and Home: Outsmart an Invader, Secure Your Home, Prevent a Burglary and Protect Your Loved Ones from Any Threat.We begin our conversation with how Dave got involved with security training, the intensive field research he did for his book, and the basic equationcriminals use in deciding whether or not to make your house a target. We then delve into how to tweak that equation in your favor, beginning with casing your house like a criminal would; we go over the vulnerabilities to look for as you walk the perimeter of your property, and the actionable changes tomake to deter would-be home invaders. Dave then walks us through what to do if someone does invade your home, including the criteria to use in picking a place tohide, choosing a weapon to fight back, and selecting an engagementpoint to confront the intruder. We also get into the importance of firearm training, if you decide to own a gun for self-defense. We end our conversation with an oft-overlooked part of surviving a home invasion: the months and years of psychological and judicial aftermath. Get the show notes at aom.is/homeinvasion.

46 MIN1 w ago
Comments
#631: How to Prevent and Survive a Home Invasion

#630: The Strategy Paradox

To be a great success in business, you need to have a compelling vision, create a well-thought-out strategy to achievethat vision, and then fully commit to that strategy with action and resources. That's also the recipe for being a great failure in business. That's what my guest argues in his bookThe Strategy Paradox: Why Committing to Success Leads to Failure. His name is Michael Raynor and we begin our discussion by describing the strategy paradox: the fact that the same sound strategy can lead to both success and failure. We discuss how the outcome then dependsless on the strategyitself, than on the idea you decide to bet on, using the example of the way Sony employed the right strategy in backing Betamax in the VCR wars, but still lost out to VHS. Raynor then explains the limitations of forecasting and adaption, the approaches companies typically use to navigate the tension between needing to commit to something, and being uncertain they've committed to the right thing. He then unpacks two more effectiveways of developing strategicflexibility: separating the management of commitment from the managementof uncertainty, and acquiring a portfolio of assets that will increase your optionality. We end our conversation with whether the strategy paradox can be applied not only to making decisions in business, but to making decisions in our personal lives as well. Get the show notes at aom.is/strategyparadox.

38 MIN1 w ago
Comments
#630: The Strategy Paradox

#629: Why We Swim

If you've been swimming since you were a child, you probably don't think too much about it anymore. But when you take a step back, the human act of swimming is a prettyinteresting thing. You weren't born knowing how to swim; it's not instinctual. So why are people so naturally drawn to water? And what do we get out of paddling around in it? My guest today explores these questions in her book Why We Swim. Her name is Bonnie Tsui, and we begin our conversation today with how humans are some of the few land animals that have to be taught how to swim, and when our ancestors first took to the water. We then discuss how peoples who have made swimming a primary part of their culture, have evolved adaptationsthat have made them better at it. We discuss how swimming can be both psychically and physically restorative and how it can also bring people together, using as an example a unique community of swimmers which developed during the Iraq War inside one of Saddam Hussein's palaces. We also talk about the competitiveelement of swimming, and how for thousands of years it was in fact a combat skill, and even took the form of a martial art, called samurai swimming, in Japan. We end our conversation with how swimming can facilitateflow, and some of the famous philosophers and thinkers who tuned the currents of their thoughts whileglidingthrough currents of water. Get the show notes at aom.is/whyweswim.

42 MIN2 w ago
Comments
#629: Why We Swim

#628: The Rise of Secular Religion and the New Puritanism

There has been a lot of civil and politicalupheavallately, and what makes the atmosphereparticularly disorienting, is that beyond the more obvious proximate and commonly-discussed causes for the turmoil, it feels like there are even deeper cultural currents and contexts at play, thatare yet hard to put one's finger on and understand. There's a fervor in the debates and conflict that almost seems . . . religious. My guest today would say that's exactly the right word to describe the tenor of things. His name is Jacob Howland, he's a recently retired professor of philosophy, and the currents at play in today's world are things he's spent his whole career studying -- from Plato and Aristotle to the Hebrew Bible and Kierkegaard, with a particularemphasison the politicalphilosophyof the ancient Greeks. Howland draws on all those areas to weave together a kind of philosophical roadmap to how we've arrived at our current cultural zeitgeist. In particular, Howland makes the case that what we're seeing today is the rise of a kind of secular religion, a new Puritanism, that worships at what he calls"the Church of Humanity." This new Puritanismbases the idea of moral purity around one's views on issues like race and gender, and seeks to purge anyone who doesn't adhere to the proscribed dogma. Jacob walks us through the tenets of the dominant influence on this secular religion -- a strain of modern thought called "critical theory" -- and offers a kind of philosophical genealogy on what led up to it, which includes the ideas of Rousseau, Marx, and Hegel. We discuss how critical theory contrasts with classical liberalism, and approaches people as members of groups rather than as individuals, and as abstractions rather than particulars, and how this lens on the world leads to identity politics and cancel culture. We delve into Kierkegaard's prophecies on the leveling of society, and how the modern tendency to make man the measure of all things can leave us feeling spiritually and intellectually empty, and looking to politics to fill an existential void it can't ultimately satisfy. We end our conversation describing the sustenance which can. Get the show notes at aom.is/howland.

74 MIN2 w ago
Comments
#628: The Rise of Secular Religion and the New Puritanism

#627: How to Deal With Jerks, Bullies, Tyrants, and Trolls

There are some people in life who are more than unpleasant, more than annoying. They're real, genuine a**holes. My guest today has written the preeminent field guides to identifying, dealing with, and avoiding all of life'sjerks, bullies, tyrants, and trolls: The No Asshole Rule and The Asshole Survival Guide. His name is Bob Sutton, he's a Stanford professor of organization and management, and we begin our conversation together with how Bob defines what makes an a-hole an a-hole, what causes their jerkiness, and the costs of having such disagreeablepeople as part of an organization. We then get into the circumstances of when being a jerk yourself can actually be advantageous. We then turn to how to deal with the jerks in your own life, including distancing yourself from them, deciding you're going to be better than them, and imagining you're a jerk collector encountering a new species of jerk. Bob explains smart ways to fight back against jerks, and gets into the wisdom of documenting their jerkiness, why it's occasionally helpful to take an aggressive stand, and how even Steve Jobs learned how to be less of an a-hole. We end our conversation with how to build a jerk-free workplace. Get the show notes at aom.is/jerks.

38 MIN3 w ago
Comments
#627: How to Deal With Jerks, Bullies, Tyrants, and Trolls

#626: How to Declutter Every Aspect of Your Work Life

When you think about decluttering, you probablythink about your home life, and cleaningout your junk drawer and closets. But there are also ways to declutter your work life and tidy up both its physical and digitalaspects. My guest today explains the art of practicingminimalismin your professional life in a book he co-authored with organizing expert Marie Kondo. His name is Scott Soneshein, he's a professor of business and management, and his book isJoy at Work. Scott and I begin our conversation by unpacking the benefits of keeping your work life neat and tidy, and then move into how to do this in regards to your physical workspace. Scott shares three questions to ask yourself when you declutteryour office to help you decide which items to keep and which to throw away. We also take a useful aside into how to throw away your children's artwork with less guilt. We then move into how to declutter your digitallife by cleaning up your email inbox and smartphone. We end our discussion with several areas you may not think of in terms of clutter, but probably need some tidying up: your activities, decisions, network, and meetings. Get the show notes at aom.is/declutterwork.

41 MIN3 w ago
Comments
#626: How to Declutter Every Aspect of Your Work Life

#625: The Code of the Warrior

War is a violent and bloody business, but it's rarely a no-holds barred free-for-all. Instead, codes of conduct that determine what is and isn't honorable behavior on the battlefield have existed since ancient times. My guest today explored these various codes in a book she wrote during the decade she spent teaching at the United States Naval Academy. Her name is Shannon French, she's a professor of ethics and philosophy, and her book isThe Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values Past and Present. Shannon and I begin our conversation with the pointed questions she used to pose to the cadets she taught as to how being a warrior was different than being a killer or murderer, and when killing is and isn't ethical. She then explains how the warrior codes which developed all around the world arose organically from warriors themselves for their own protection, and how thesecodes are more about identity than rules. Shannon and I then take a tour of warrior codes across time and culture, starting with the code in Homer'sIliad, and then moving into the strengths and weaknesses of the Stoic philosophy which undergirded the code of the Romans. From there we unpack the code of the medieval knights of Arthurian legend, what American Indians can teach soldiers about the need to make clear transitions between the homefront and the warfront, and how the Bushido code of the samurais sought to balance the influence of four different religions. We end our conversationwith the role warrior codes play today in an age of increasingly technologized combat. Get the show notes at aom.is/warriorcode.

59 MINJUL 8
Comments
#625: The Code of the Warrior

#624: The Crazy, Forgotten Story of America's First Fitness Influencer

The topic of health and fitness has long been a popular one for magazines, and in most recent times, for blogs and Instagram accounts. But what these modern publishers and influencers probably don't realize is that they're standing on the shoulders of an ambitious eccentric who laid the foundation for much of modern American media: Bernarr Macfadden. My guest today is Mark Adams, who wrote a biography of this proto fitness guru called Mr. America: How Muscular Millionaire Bernarr Macfadden Transformed the Nation Through Sex, Salad, and the Ultimate Starvation Diet. Mark and I begin our conversation with how Macfadden discovereda passion for health and fitness as a young man and failed at his attempt to become a personal trainer, despite coining the motto "Weakness is a crime; don't be a criminal." We then discuss how Macfadden went on to start the highly successful magazine, PhysicalCulture, and then an entirepublishing empire,which pioneered many of the confessional, first-person, personal branding techniques still used today. Mark shares the tenets of Macfadden's sometimes sound, sometimes wacky health philosophy, including his advocacy of fasting, and what happened when Mark tried out some of Macfadden's protocols on himself. Mark and I then delve into how Macfaddenfounded a utopian community in the New Jersey suburbs, wasconvicted of obscenity charges,trained fascist cadets for Mussolini, and ran for U.S. senator on a physical fitness platform. We end our conversation with why Macfadden was forgotten, and yet had a lasting effect on the world of health and fitness, as well as media as a whole. Get the show notes at aom.is/macfadden.

47 MINJUL 6
Comments
#624: The Crazy, Forgotten Story of America's First Fitness Influencer

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