10,000 Years of Swimming

by Howard Means

(June 2, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 9780306845642
Also available in ebook and audiobook

Praise for SPLASH!

Splash! is 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…. 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

Splash! is a tour de force across the history of swimming.… Means has a chatty, informal, and often light-hearted writing style that makes Splash! a joy to read. It should be on every swimmer’s reading list and in every swim bag alongside cap, goggles, fins, and paddles.” Matt Rees, SwimSwam.com

“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

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

“In a cave in Wadi Sura, in the southwest corner of Egypt, there is evidence that one of the driest corners of the Earth used to be flowing with water. The Cave of Swimmers (famous from The English Patient) is covered in paintings of little human figures that appear to be doing doggy paddle. They suggest not only that the Sahara desert was once crossed by rivers and lakes but that, about 8,000 years ago, people were swimming in them. And apparently loving it. So begins this fascinating history of how, where and why humans swim. It is perfect reading for those missing a splash-about during the lockdown….” Katy Guest, The Guardian

“Thoroughness and depth are hallmarks of Howard Means’s long writing career. In Splash!, he delivers a fascinating, compulsively readable history of swimming, dating back to the dawn of humankind…. The passion and enthusiasm of Means, a life-long swimmer himself, shines on every page of this exceptional aquatic exploration.” Kathleen Gerard, Shelf Awareness

Splash! is deeply researched and written in an accessible and humorous style, with plenty of asides about sharks, popular films, and sports titans.” Jessica J. Lee, Times Literary Supplement

“With wit and rich detail,… Means’s delightful history of humans in water simultaneously educates and entertains.”―Publishers Weekly

“A nimble social history of humans at play in water… Devoted swimmers will want to splash about in this entertaining narrative.”―Kirkus Reviews

“A thoughtful,… comprehensive, well-researched homage to swimming as a component of survival, leisure activity, and competitive sport”―Booklist

Kent State and the end of American Innocence

by Howard Means

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press 
(April 12, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0306823799
ISBN-13: 978-0306823794

Praise for 67 Shots


In Howard Means’ fine hands, we discern how the terrible events at Kent State unfolded—relentlessly, ineluctably—like a Greek tragedy. Through dogged and imaginative reporting, 67 Shots shows us how the tragedy fed into, and was fed by, the larger maelstrom of the times. In this definitive account, Means has deftly extracted Kent State from the amber and exposed it to fresh air once again.

—Hampton Sides, author of In the Kingdom of Ice and Hellhound On His Trail

Howard Means does a marvelous job of weaving together the many strands of memory and the records of the times to create a nuanced portrayal of a moment in American history too often reduced to the lyrics of a Neil Young song. This balanced account does justice to the perspectives of students, National Guardsmen, campus administrators, and local residents alike, both for and against the demonstrations.

—Kenneth Hammond, Chairman, Department of History, New Mexico State University, and Kent State student-protest leader (1970)

“An excellent single-volume history of the Kent State encounter.” – Washington Monthly

“An intimate look at a tragedy that could not be predicted but was perhaps inevitable.” – Library Journal

“Quite superb.” – Examiner.com

“Howard Means’ look at a horrible moment in US history is crucial to understanding the law, politics, basic rights and how occasionally all three clash, and how the former fail the latter.” – San Francisco Book Review

“In 67 Shots, the reader can’t help but feel his own heart racing as the narrative and all the single decisions that could have changed things completely race forward to their inevitable conclusion.” – Houston Press

“Means draws upon scores of interviews and a rich archival record to dispel numerous myths that have grown up around the events culminating on May 4, 1970, with four dead in Ohio.” – Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

67 Shots is indispensable in understanding the sine-wave pattern of tension that began on the streets of Kent three nights before National Guardsmen fired on protesters.” – Columbus Dispatch

Johnny Appleseed
The Man, the Myth, the American Story

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (April 17, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439178267
ISBN-13: 978-1439178263

Praise for Johnny Appleseed


“Finally, the cliché is peeled away and the essence of this utterly American character is so revealing. John Chapman comes alive here and it is a thrilling experience to escape the specific gravity of the decades of myth.”

—Ken Burns, director of The Civil War and Baseball

“This is a tremendous book…”

—Glenn Beck

“We all know the caricature, but few of us know the man. Howard Means produces a feast of a story that strips away the myths of this folk-tale hero and gives us the real John Chapman and the rough-and-tumble world he lived in. This is a thoroughly fascinating and fun book.”

—Jay Winik, author of April 1865 and The Great Upheaval

“Johnny Appleseed is one of the great myths of our childhood. With insight and a lively touch, Howard Means tells us the story of the real Johnny Appleseed, John Chapman, a mystic and visionary who turns out to be a most memorable American character.”

—Evan Thomas, author of The War Lovers

To order: Johnny Appleseed: The Man, the Myth, and the American Story from Amazon.com

To contact the illustrator, Ihrie Means, please email iwmeans@gmail.com.

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