A global history of swimming, from humankind's first dip in what is now the driest spot on earth to the modern Olympic Games.
'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.
Howard Means is the author or co-author of ten books, most recently 67 Shots: Kent State and the End of American Innocence, currently being developed as a feature length film by Everyman Pictures (Jay Roach) and Little Stranger Picture (Tina Fey & Jeff Richmond). He began swimming competitively when he was five years old, continued through college, then coached for seven years. Swimming continues to define his life, and he practises it in pools, rivers, lakes, quarries and oceans.
Paperback - B format