Running: A Global History (Hardback)
  • Running: A Global History (Hardback)
zoom

Running: A Global History (Hardback)

(author)
£19.95
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 01/10/2009
  • Not available

This product is currently unavailable

Email me when available

Stay one step ahead and let us notify you when this item is next available to order

It is probably not surprising to learn that the modern craze for running is not new: our species has been running since we were able to stand upright. What may be surprising, however, are the many ways and reasons we have performed this painful, exhausting and yet exhilarating activity down the ages. In this original, humorous and almost improbable world history, Thor Gotaas brings us many unusual and curious stories showing the remarkable diversity of running, from earliest times to the immense popularity of running today at athletics meetings, world championships and Olympic games. Amongst the myriad characters the author describes are King Shulgi of Mesopotamia, who four millennia ago boasted about his ability to maintain high speeds while running long distances, and once claimed to have run from Nippur to Ur, a distance of not less than 160 kilometres. In ancient Egypt the pharaoh had to run to prove his vitality and to hold on to power; Norwegian Vikings exercised by running races against animals; and, then there are the little-known naked runs, whore runs, endurance tests at bars, backward runs, monk runs, snowshoe runs, the Incas' ingenious infrastructure of professional runners and the running culture of Native Americans. In this unique book, Gotaas has written a world history that will come as a revelation to everyone who reads it. It will appeal to all who wish to know more about why the ancients shared our love, and hatred, of this physically demanding yet spiritually rewarding pastime.

Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 9781861895264
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 198 x 138 x 34 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
From starting-gun to finishing tape may be a clean ten seconds, but behind that moment swirl a few thousand years of human joy and despair and endeavour - this seems to be the argument of Gotaas's rich and engrossing book. The Spectator As well as being vital to our early survival, running is a universal form of play, as this fascinating study shows ... Gotaas's research ranges as freely across the globe as it does through time. He pays as much attention to modern African champions as he does to European greats, carefully and colourfully describing the lives of overlooked luminaries such as Abebe Bikila, the barefoot Ethiopian who won the 1960 Olympic marathon in Rome, and Henry Rono (Kenya's "Mr Comeback"). The Observer an admirable attempt to cover the running phenomenon, not merely in its cultural and historical sweep but also in its philosophy. Gotaas starts by giving us some of the fascinating history of running, showing that it has been part and parcel of human life since our earliest days and has featured prominently in cultures ranging from that of the Incas ... to Sumeria ... It is the attempts by Gotaas to get beneath the surface of running that provide the book's most revelatory moments. -- Matthew Syed The Times fulfils its brief brilliantly The Independent An effortless run through history. Thor Gotaas takes us with him on a well-gauged tour through the amazing and many-sided world history of running, elegantly told without for a moment being monotonous. Gotaas carries through his race entirely without effort, but at a good pace, with movement and rhythm. -- Per Haddal Aftenposten, Norway

You may also be interested in...

Ultramarathon Man
Added to basket
£11.99
Paperback
Keep on Running
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
StrengthTraining for Runners
Added to basket
Running with the Kenyans
Added to basket
101 Youth Athletics Drills
Added to basket
Why We Run
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
How to Run
Added to basket
£14.99
Paperback
Run or Die
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
The Dirtiest Race in History
Added to basket
Running My Life - The Autobiography
Added to basket
Born to Run
Added to basket
The Art of Running Faster
Added to basket
Nell McAndrew's Guide to Running
Added to basket
Running Like a Girl
Added to basket
Running a Marathon For Dummies
Added to basket
Running Free
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.