The World in the Curl: Local authors publish new look at history of surfing

The World in the Curl - By Peter Westwick and Peter Neushul

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Peter Neushul and Peter Westwick will be signing copies of their new book – The World in the Curl: An Unconventional History of Surfing??in Santa Barbara on Tuesday, August 14th at 7 p.m. in?Chaucer’s Book Store.

The book, which?was released on July 23rd by Crown Publishing, has received positive reviews.

From Publishers Weekly: ?Westwick and Neushul?s focus on the cultural and socio-economic illuminates hidden forces that are rarely discussed by even the most knowledgeable surfers?For every enthusiast killing time before the next big swell, the authors provide a satisfying immersion into the story of how a near-extinct Polynesian pastime came back to conquer the beach.?

A press release issued by the publisher explains the book’s subject matter.

Surfing has become more popular than ever, with an estimated twenty million people riding waves worldwide.? The U.S. surf industry alone has sales of over five billion a year, and globally, surfing itself supports a ten billion dollar industry.? By the start of the twenty-first century, surfing had gone from exotic pastime to a lifestyle, carrying its influence far beyond the surf community to Hollywood, music, fashion, and business. Quiksilver, Reef, and Billabong have now become household names.? In fact, surf culture is woven into the fabric of societies whose members don?t even surf?so much so that you can walk through a mall in land-locked middle America and pick up a pair of surf trunks.?? How did surfing gain such cultural and commercial appeal? And how can it be used to understand the modern world?

Historians Peter Westwick and Peter Neushul illuminate these questions and more in?The World in the Curl: An Unconventional History of Surfing.? Teachers of a popular class on the history of surfing at the University of California at Santa Barbara, they examine the enduring appeal of the sport both in myth and reality.? Drawing on their expertise as, respectively, a historian of science and technology and an environmental historian, The World in the Curl brings alive the colorful history of surfing by enlightening readers about what fueled the sport?s expansion: colonialism, capitalism, race and gender relations, multinational corporations, environmental change, and globalization.?

In a highly readable and provocative narrative of the sport?s signal moments?from the spread of surfing to the U.S., to the development of surf culture, to the introduction of women into the sport?Neushul and Westwick draw an indelible portrait of surfing and surfers as actors on the global stage.?

An excerpt from the book can be read on the Crown Publishing website.

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