Sweetness and Blood: How Surfing Spread from Hawaii and California to the Rest of the World, with Some Unexpected Results

Sweetness and Blood: How Surfing Spread from Hawaii and California to the Rest of the World, with Some Unexpected Results

by Michael Scott Moore

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Overview

Sweetness and Blood: How Surfing Spread from Hawaii and California to the Rest of the World, with Some Unexpected Results by Michael Scott Moore

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 Sweetness and Blood—a brilliantly written travel adventure—journalist (and surfer) 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. Whether he is connecting eccentric surf legend Doc Paskowitz to the Arab-Israeli conflict, trying to deconstruct the terrorist bombing in a nightclub in Bali, or being chased by the German police while surfing a river break in Berlin, Moore masterfully weaves together politics, culture, history, and surfing to create a book like no other.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781605290980
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 05/26/2011
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 723,767
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

MICHAEL SCOTT MOORE is a novelist and journalist from California. He was a 2006-2007 Fulbright fellow in Berlin, where he currently works for Spiegel Online and writes a column for Miller-McCune Magazine. His first novel, Too Much of Nothing, was published by Carroll&Graf in 2003. He's written on politics and travel for publications such as The Atlantic Monthly, Slate, and the Financial Times. He's also at work on a second novel.

Read an Excerpt

AUTHOR'S APOLOGY

as a history of surfing, this book isn't definitive. It completely shortchanges--among other major forces--Dale Velzy, Mary Ann Hawkins, Greg Noll, and most of Australia. What I've tried to assemble is a folk history of surfing, a personal sketch for any curious reader of how the modern sport moved around the world and mingled with cultures that either have nothing to do with Hawaii or have strong reasons to resist pop silliness from the first world. The result is a story of hippies, soldiers, nutcases, and colonialism, a checkered history of the spread of Western culture in the years after World War II.

"Dude, you should have gone to Brazil," people told me. Or, "Are there really good waves in Gaza?"--as if the point were to search for beautiful surf. No, no, no. I left out major wave-riding nations like Mexico, France, and South Africa because most surfers know about them. Wherever possible I chose offbeat nearby countries (Cuba, Germany, Sao Tome and Principe) to give the general reader an idea of how surfing reached each general part of the world and still, I hope, offer the dedicated surf historian something new--about how the sport mingled with Communism, or how it wound up in the North Sea.

The travel--spread over several years--starts with Chapter 2. Chapter 1 is really a prologue, a highly subjective but (I hope) still interesting review of the basic facts. I set out on this book as a landlocked scribbler, living as a journalist in Berlin. But I'd never stopped being a surfer, and I'd lived too long thinking the material I grew up with, the relentless superficial glare of southern California, had no value for a writer. Even pop culture has a human history, and modern surfing happens to be as American as baseball or jazz. By that I don't mean to claim it for America--surfing, almost as much as soccer, is a world sport--but I do want to provide ammunition against the eternal domestic bigots who say certain (ever-shifting, normally coastal) parts of America somehow don't belong; or against Europeans who think everything exported by America is bad; or against Northeastern snobs who think surfing isn't worth their time. Those three groups of people would never care to be caught together at a dinner party, but to me they're partners in ignorance.

Anyway, this isn't Endless Summer. It's not a pleasure trip, or a search for the ultimate stoke. When a surfer takes off on a wave, there are two possible results, and my book is about them both.

Table of Contents

Author's Apology vii

Chapter 1 California and Hawaii: As Civilization Advances 1

Chapter 2 Indonesia: Bulé Bulé 33

Chapter 3 Germany: The Fun-Gesellschaft 67

Chapter 4 Morocco: Kilroy Was Here 95

Chapter 5 United Kingdom: English Incomers 137

Chapter 6 Israel and the Gaza Strip: Two Opposed Ideas 171

Chapter 7 Cuba: La Otra Revolución 217

Chapter 8 São Tomé and Príncipe: The Stern of an Old Canoe 249

Chapter 9 Japan: Plastics 283

Bibliography 319

Acknowledgments 322

Index 323

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Sweetness and Blood: How Surfing Spread from Hawaii and California to the Rest of the World, with Some Unexpected Results 2.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
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