Strokes of Genius: A History of Swimming cover

Maria Kiriakova

It is always interesting to observe how books are published in waves. One year, many books are published on the topic of cleaning, for example, while another year Internet security sees a surge of publications. Surprisingly, the year of 2017 brought two books on the history of swimming that the library acquired.

In Strokes of Genius: A History of Swimming that was just published by Reaktion Books in London, Eric Chaline researches how swimming contributed to the evolution of species and surveys this art of human movement from prehistory to the current era. The author looks at swimming not just as a sport, but also as a part of religious, military, and medical history. You can find this book in the Stacks, GV836.4 .C43 2017.

Swell: A Water biography cover

The other book is Swell: A Waterbiography by Jenny Landreth (Bloomsbury Publishing). It is a fascinating account of societal norms prescribed for swimmers of different genders in the last two centuries. You can read the whole story of the “swimming suffragettes” who liberated swimming for women by picking up the book from the Stacks, GV837.5 .L36 2017.

November 2017

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