Max Dupain is regarded as one of Australia's most significant photographers. For the first time, this book details how Dupain's formative early work was created in response to the 'body culture' movement of the interwar period. As Dr. Crombie shows, after World War One many western countries enthusiastically subscribed to schemes designed to control, regulate and develop the body as a means of building individual health and fitness and assisting communal regeneration. Drawing on the pseudo-scientific theories of eugenics, ideas and methods concerning the revitalisation of the body became popular among a diverse range of groups. As part of this study, Dr. Crombie reveals how Australia's most distinctive contribution to 'body culture' was through the development of two physical archetypes associated with the beach - namely, the lifesaver and the surfer - and that the popularity of these icons was largely enabled through photography by Dupain and others.