‘This fascinating history of how, where and why humans swim…is perfect reading for those missing a splash-about during the lockdown.’ Guardian
From the first recorded dip into what’s now the driest spot on earth to the recreational swimmers in your local pool, humans have been getting wet for 10,000 years. And for most of modern history, swimming has caused a ripple that touches us all.
Splash! dives into Egypt, winds through ancient Greece and Rome, flows mostly underground through the Dark and Middle Ages (at least in Europe), and then re-emerges in the wake of the Renaissance before taking its final lap at the modern Olympic Games. Along the way, it kicks away the idea that swimming is just about speed or great feats of aquatic endurance, revealing how its history spans religion, fashion, architecture, public health, colonialism, segregation, sexism, sexiness, guts, glory and much, much more.
As refreshing as jumping into a pool on a hot summer’s day, Splash! sweeps across the whole of humankind’s swimming history with an irrepressible enthusiasm that will make you crave your next dip.
This fascinating history of how, where and why humans swim...is perfect reading for those missing a splash-about during the lockdown. -- Katy Guest * Guardian * deeply researched and written in an accessible and humorous style * Times Literary Supplement * Splash! is an incredible book - the most amazing stories of anything and everything you wanted to know about the world and culture of swimming and its history. I loved every page! -- Rowdy Gaines, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Olympic television swimming analyst An exuberant and sweeping cultural history of the sport and a thoughtful meditation on its possible origins and humankind's larger relationship to water itself...Means takes us on a breezy, easily readable journey across time and space to help us even to begin to understand why we took to the water in the first place and why we still insist on splashing about in it today. A great gift for the swimmer in you or in your life. -- Julie Checkoway, New York Times bestselling author of THE THREE-YEAR SWIM CLUB Howard Means' Splash! has raised the bar for the 'swimoir'! He takes masterful strokes through 10,000 years of the cultural and social history of swimming and makes the strongest case yet written on why everyone should swim. -- Bruce Wigo, former CEO & President, International Swimming Hall of Fame
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