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Strokes of genius : a history of swimming

Author: Eric Chaline
Publisher: London, UK : Reaktion Books, 2017. ©2017
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
What could be better than diving into cool water on a hot day? In this enormously enjoyable and informative history of swimming, Eric Chaline sums up this most summery of moments with one phrase: pleasure beckons at the water's edge. Strokes of Genius traces the history of swimming from the first civilizations to its current worldwide popularity as a sport, fitness pastime, and leisure activity. Chaline explores  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
History
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
CHALINE, ERIC.
STROKES OF GENIUS.
[Place of publication not identified], REAKTION Books, 2017
(OCoLC)966205046
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Eric Chaline
ISBN: 9781780238906 1780238908
OCLC Number: 1001350551
Description: 1 online resource (328 pages)
Contents: The aquatic hominin --
Divine swimmers --
Harvesting the treasures of the sea --
The art of swimming --
Pure, clean and healthy --
Bathing beauties --
Temples of Neptune --
The silent world --
This sporting life --
Imaginary swimmers --
The aquatic human.
Responsibility: Eric Chaline.

Abstract:

What could be better than diving into cool water on a hot day? In this enormously enjoyable and informative history of swimming, Eric Chaline sums up this most summery of moments with one phrase: pleasure beckons at the water's edge. Strokes of Genius traces the history of swimming from the first civilizations to its current worldwide popularity as a sport, fitness pastime, and leisure activity. Chaline explores swimming's role in ritual, early trade and manufacturing, warfare, and medicine, before describing its transformation in the early modern period into a leisure activity and a competitive sport--the necessary precursors that have made it the most common physical pastime in the developed world. The book celebrates the physicality and sensuality of swimming--attributes that Chaline argues could have contributed to the evolution of the human species. Swimming, like other disciplines that use repetitive movements to train the body and quiet the mind, is also a means of spiritual awakening--a personal journey of discovery. Swimming has attained the status of a cultural marker, denoting eroticism, leisure, endurance, adventure, exploration, and excellence. Strokes of Genius shows that there is not a single story of human swimming, but many currents that merge, diverge, and remerge. Chaline argues that swimming will become particularly important as we look toward a warmer future in which our survival may depend on our ability to adapt to life in an aquatic world.

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