Swim: Why We Love the Water

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PublicAffairs, Apr 3, 2012 - Sports & Recreation - 232 pages
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Swim is a celebration of swimming and the effect it has on our lives. It’s an inquiry into why we swim—the lure, the hold, the timeless magic of being in the water. It’s a look at how swimming has changed over the millennia, how this ancient activity is becoming more social than solitary today. It’s about our relationship with the water, with our fishy forebearers, and with the costumes that we wear. You’ll even find a few songs to sing when you push out those next laps.

Swimming enthusiast Lynn Sherr explores every aspect of the sport, from the biology of swimming to the fame of Esther Williams; from turquoise pools and wild water to the training of Olympians; and she reveals the secret of buoyancy so that anyone can avoid the example of the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who lamented, “Why can’t I swim, it seems so very easy?” When his friend, the biographer Edward John Trelawny, said, “because you think you can’t,” Shelley plunged into Italy’s Arno River and dropped like a rock. With Swim, you can avoid that happening to you.

 

 

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Contents

Diving In
1
Water Babies
15
Fish Out of Water
39
Different Strokes
57
The Fast Lane
79
Go with the Flow
103
Stream Lines
131
Sink or Swim
151
The Art of Swimming
163
Swim
179
Acknowledgments
189
Selected Bibliography
191
Credits
195
Index
203

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About the author (2012)

Broadcast journalist and writer Lynn Sherr was an award-winning correspondent for more than thirty years at ABC News. She is the author of Tall Blondes: A Book About Giraffes; Outside the Box: A Memoir; America the Beautiful: The Stirring True Story Behind Our Nation’s Favorite Song; and Failure is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Words. She coedited Peter Jennings, A Reporter’s Life. She lives in New York.

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