Sweetness and Blood
A folk history of surfing after World War II places an emphasis on its cultural influences while documenting the author's visits to such lesser-known surfing destinations as West Africa, Berlin and Cuba, offering insight into the roles played by such contributors as Christian missionaries and colonials.
How did an obscure tribal sport from precolonial Hawaii—one that was nearly eliminated on its home islands by Christian missionaries—jump oceans to California and Australia? And how did it become such a worldwide passion, influencing lives around the globe?
"A wild, passionate, and thrilling ride; in the company of Pacific princes, beatnik athletes, and outlaw long-boarders, Michael Scott Moore catches surfing's global wave through a sweeping history of America's most liberating, taut, and tanned cultural export. Glorious!"---Rory Maclean, author of Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India
"Warm, smart, funny, and beautifully written. Sweetness and Blood goes off the beaten surf-path to give us a bigger, more interesting surf world."---Matt Warshaw, author of The Encyclopedia of Surfing
"Michael Scott Moore has delivered a perfect tale, filled with adventure, insight, and exquisite turns of phrase. For those who think surfing is just some Cali boys running around saying `dude,' he shows that wherever there's water, from Munich to the Gaza Strip, taking a ride on it means freedom---and the siren call is universal."---Deanne Stillman, author of Twentynine Palms: A True Story of Murder, Marines, and the Mojave
"Sweetness and Blood, Michael Scott Moore's moving personal hegira through wave-riding's undiscovered back country, is a constantly surprising and emotional ride as it proves both surf culture's truly perasive influence and how the world of waves---wherever they may be, and whoever rides them---leads to the heart of the world itself."---David Rensin, author of All for a Few Perfect Waves: The Audacious Life and Legend of Rebel Surfer Miki Dora
"The most fun, riskiest, most joyful, highest form of travelogue lit. Everyone will have their favorite chapter and section. Like Theroux combined with the best part of the best travel story of vintage Granta magazine...love, love, love this book!"---Joy Nicholson, author of The Road to Esmeralda
"A wonderful and engaging book, Sweetness and Blood combines folk history, pop art, and great, old-fashioned travel writing into a fun-filled tale of surfing's global conquest. From the shell-shocked beaches of the Gaza Strip to the shell-packed beaches of Bali, Moore has packed enough cool cultural ephemera into this one volume to make this book a must-read for anyone interested in the sport."---Steven Kotler, author of West of Jesus: Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief
"Sweetness and Blood reveals a great deal about the evoluation of surfing but even more about the currents of globalization---which are as complex and as hard to fathom as those of the ocean itself. There is a remarkable character, a surprising bit of history, and a fresh insight on every single page of this wonderful book."---Ethan Watters, author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche
"Sweetness and Blood is a lively tour de force of travel writing and enterprising research that tells the truly fascinating story of surfing's spread into unlikely corners of the globe."---Francisco Goldman, author of The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop?
How did an obscure tribal sport from precolonial Hawaii---one that was nearly eliminated by Christian missionaries---jump oceans to california and Australia? And how did it become such a worldwide passion, even in places where the surf may be excellent but the society is highly conservative or superstitious about the sea?
In this brilliantly written travel adventure, novelist and journalist Michael Scott Moore visits unlikely surfing destinations---Israel and the Gaza Strip, West Africa, Great Britain, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Cuba, and Morocco---to find out. The result is an entertaining look at how modern surfing became a major American export, like Hollywood or rock `n' roll, mingling with cultures that should have every reason to ignore a pop movement that started, more or less, in Moore's hometown.
He explores eight countries with a simple goal---to find out who surfed there first. His wandering introduces him to the roots of the 2002 nightclub bombings in Bali, the challenge to communism posed by surfing in Cuba, and the hazards of surfing a standing wave in Munich's municipal river system.
Sweetness and Blood masterfully weaves surfing with history, politics, and local culture to create a welcome and relevant addition to the dialogue on crosscultural influence. Not since William Finnegan's definitive New Yorker pieces on the sport has there been a more compellingly written, thoughtful, and affecting look at the call of the wave.
Offers a folk history of surfing after World War II, while documenting the author's visits to such destinations as West Africa and Cuba, and describes the roles played by such contributors as Christian missionaries and colonials.
how surfing spread from Hawaii and California to the rest of the world, with some unexpected results
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