The Mensendieck system of physical culture is probably the most venerable (particularly in Europe). Dr. Mensendieck, who died in 1957 at a hearty 94, was an American but when her publications were banned in the '20's (the unclothed body surrounded by mirrors is a basic preliminary to exercise) she took her theories and practice to Europe. As a result, there are few licensed, rigidly trained practitioners here, and this book is to flu the gap and help promote interest. The method centers on proper weight distribution and muscle/skeletal coordination to facilitate the functions of the entire body -- definitely geared to attaining grace and health rather than strength or bulging biceps. No Mensendieck manual is gay and carefree -- an earnest pedagogic solemnity pervades. But in lieu of a lesson with a practitioner, this is the most clear and explicit presentation yet.