Live at Brookline Booksmith! Natalia Petrzela with Megan Kate Nelson

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Live at Brookline Booksmith! Natalia Petrzela with Megan Kate Nelson

Read on for important details for this live, in-person Brookline Booksmith event.

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Date and time

Location

Brookline Booksmith 279 Harvard Street Brookline, MA 02446

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Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.
Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

  • 1 hour
  • Mobile eTicket

In person at Brookline Booksmith! Celebrate the release of Fit Nation with author Natalia Petrzela, in conversation with Megan Kate Nelson.

Register for the event!

RSVP to let us know you're coming! RSVPs are not required, but depending on the volume of responses, RSVPs may be given first priority. You will also be alerted to important details about the program, including safety requirements, cancellations, and book signing updates.

Livestream!

Barring technical difficulty, this event will be livestreamed to our store YouTube channel. No registration is required for the livestream.

Reserve a book!

Books will be available for purchase at the event, but you can ensure that you get a copy by preordering on this page. You can pick your book up after 6:30PM on the day of the event.

Can't make it to the event? Preorder the book here to have it signed, and choose to have it held or shipped from the store!

Live at Brookline Booksmith! Natalia Petrzela with Megan Kate Nelson image

Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America's Exercise Obsession

How is it that Americans are more obsessed with exercise than ever, and yet also unhealthier? Fit Nation explains how we got here and imagines how we might create a more inclusive, stronger future.

If a shared American creed still exists, it’s a belief that exercise is integral to a life well lived. A century ago, working out was the activity of a strange subculture, but today, it’s almost impossible to avoid exhortations to exercise: Walk 5K to cure cancer! Awaken your inner sex kitten at pole-dancing class! Sweat like (or even with) a celebrity in spin class! Exercise is everywhere.

Yet the United States is hardly a “fit nation.” Only 20 percent of Americans work out consistently, over half of gym members don’t even use the facilities they pay for, and fewer than 30 percent of high school students get an hour of exercise a day. So how did fitness become both inescapable and inaccessible?

Spanning more than a century of American history, Fit Nation answers these questions and more through original interviews, archival research, and a rich cultural narrative. As a leading political and intellectual historian and a certified fitness instructor, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela is uniquely qualified to confront the complex and far-reaching implications of how our contemporary exercise culture took shape. She explores the work of working out not just as consumers have experienced it, but as it was created by performers, physical educators, trainers, instructors, and many others.

For Petrzela, fitness is a social justice issue. She argues that the fight for a more equitable exercise culture will be won only by revolutionizing fitness culture at its core, making it truly inclusive for all bodies in a way it has never been. Examining venues from the stage of the World’s Fair and Muscle Beach to fat farms, feminist health clinics, radical and evangelical college campuses, yoga retreats, gleaming health clubs, school gymnasiums, and many more, Fit Nation is a revealing history that shows fitness to be not just a matter of physical health but of what it means to be an American.

Natalia Mehlman Petrzela is a historian of American politics and culture. She is the author of two books, Classroom Wars: Language, Sex, and the Making of Modern Political Culture and Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America's Exercise Obsession, host and co-producer of the Welcome to Your Fantasy and Past Present podcasts, and a frequent contributor to media outlets including the New York Times, the Atlantic, and The Washington Post.

Megan Kate Nelson is a writer and historian who grew up in Colorado and now lives outside Boston. She is the author of four books, including (most recently), Saving Yellowstone (Scribner 2022) and The Three-Cornered War (Scribner 2020, finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History).

About Brookline Booksmith

We are one of New England’s premier independent bookstores, family-owned and locally run since 1961. We offer an extensive selection of new, used, and bargain books; unique, beautiful gifts; award-winning events series; and specialty foods. Every day, we strive to foster community through the written word, represent a diverse range of voices and histories, and inspire conversations that enrich our lives. Find more at brooklinebooksmith.com!

EVENT ACCESSIBILITY

This event will take place in Brookline Booksmith's Used Book Cellar, which is only accessible by stair. If possible, the event will be livestreamed to YouTube. ASL interpretation may be provided (based on the availability of interpreters) but must be requested at least 2 weeks in advance of the event. Seats are limited. Please email us at tickets@brooklinebooksmith.com as soon as possible if you require ASL interpretation, guaranteed seating, or other accommodations. We will do our best to serve your needs!

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING COVID & IN-PERSON EVENTS:

Please note that any Brookline Booksmith in-person event may be canceled by the bookstore, publisher, or author based on concerns about health and safety around the time of the event. Wherever possible, any in-person appearance canceled due to COVID will be moved to the Brookline Booksmith Zoom as a Webinar at the same date and time, and all tickets & registrations will be transferred to the online event. Book signing details may change. Refunds may be requested in the case of a virtual pivot or event cancellation.