A global history of swimming, from humankind's first dip in what is now the driest spot on earth to the 2020 Olympics.
Splash! weaves a 10,000-year-old tale that begins in a bone-dry cave in the remote southwest corner of Egypt, winds its way through ancient Greece and Rome, flows mostly underground through the Dark and Middle Ages, and then reemerges in the wake of the Renaissance before ending on the runway of the Tokyo Olympics.
But swimming is also about more than feats of aquatic endurance or the terror of the bottomless deep. Its history offers a multi-tiered tour through religion, fashion low and high, architecture, sanitation and public health, colonialism, segregation and integration, sexism, sexiness, guts, glory and much, much more.
Unique and compulsive, Splash! sweeps across the whole of humankind's swimming history, with great wit and humour.
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 throughout college, then coached for seven years. Swimming continues to define his life, and he practises it in pools, rivers, lakes, quarries and oceans.