(June 2, 2020)
Also available in ebook and audiobook
Choose a stroke and get paddling through the human history of swimming!
From man’s first recorded dip into what’s now the driest spot on earth to the splashing, sparkling pool party in your backyard, humans have been getting wet for 10,000 years. And for most of modern history, swimming has caused a ripple that touches us all–the heroes and the ordinary folk; the real and the mythic.
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 reemerges in the wake of the Renaissance before taking its final lap at today’s Olympic games. Along the way, it kicks away the idea that swimming is just about moving through water, about speed or great feats of aquatic endurance, and shows you how much more it can be. Its history offers a multi-tiered tour through religion, fashion, architecture, sanitation and public health, colonialism, segregation and integration, sexism, sexiness, guts, glory, and much, much more.
Unique and compelling, Splash! sweeps across the whole of humankind’s swimming history–and just like jumping into a pool on a hot summer’s day, it has fun along the way.
Monday morning, May 4, 1970, found Kent State a place strangely divided against itself: part university, part military installation; a school where students were encouraged to gather in classrooms but prohibited from doing so on the campus Commons. Professors preached caution, or encouraged opposition to authority, or in some cases even tried to lead it. Top administrators fretted over what was to come—President White had called a 7:00 a.m. meeting of his cabinet and an eight o’clock one with the executive committee of the faculty senate. Then, shortly after the conclusion of a 10:00 a.m. gathering with National Guard commanders, White and his brain trust left for an off-campus luncheon meeting. By then, the only certainty seemed to be that thousands of Kent State students would be swept up—by intent, circumstance, or proximity—in a noon rally that the National Guard clearly had no intent of allowing.