Rowing Against the Current

Rowing Against the Current : On Learning to Scull at Forty

3.7 (61 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In the midst of the standard, dreary midlife crisis -- complete with wine-tasting courses, yoga classes, and a failed attempt at a first novel -- forty-year-old Barry Strauss falls unexpectedly and passionately in love with rowing, a sport in which a twenty-seven-year-old is a has-been.
Strauss, a professor of classics and history, writes about the unanticipated delights of an affair that, like so many others, begins as a casual dalliance and develops into a full-blown obsession. Drawn to the sport in part because of his affinity for Greek antiquity, he develops a love for old boathouses, a longing for rivers at dawn, a thirst to test himself, and, ultimately, a renewed sense of self-reliance -- as someone who had experienced sports humiliation as far back as Little League suddenly finds himself bursting into athleticism at an unlikely age.
From the awe-inspiring feats of the war-bound Greek triremes with their crews of 172 men rowing on three levels to the solitary pride of finishing a first race in which he gets stuck in the weeds and has to be fished out, Barry Strauss shows us why "there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half as much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 140 x 214 x 15mm | 175g
  • SCRIBNER
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0684863308
  • 9780684863306
  • 500,802

Table of contents

Contents

Foreword

Introduction

1 The Practice

2 The Beginner

3 The Coach

4 The Greeks

5 The Race

6 The Return

Suggested Readings
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Review quote

Jay Parini author of Benjamin's Crossing Sometimes a book takes you by surprise...Rowing Against the Current is written with such a wonderfully physical sense of this ancient sport. This is a story about remaking oneself in middle age; as such it overwhelmed me, as it will a large raft of readers. Bravo to Barry Strauss. Victor Davis Hanson, author of Who Killed Homer? Strauss's dogged pursuit of an ancient craft shows us how exhilarating -- and occasionally terrifying -- rowing, past and present, can be.
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About Barry Strauss

Barry Strauss, professor of history and classics at Cornell University, is a leading expert on ancient military history. He has written or edited several books, including The Battle of Salamis, The Trojan War, and The Spartacus War.
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Rating details

61 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 23% (14)
4 34% (21)
3 33% (20)
2 10% (6)
1 0% (0)
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