Synopses & Reviews
Waterman is the first comprehensive biography of Duke Kahanamoku (1890andndash;1968): swimmer, surfer, Olympic gold medalist, Hawaiian icon, waterman.
Long before Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz made their splashes in the pool, Kahanamoku emerged from the backwaters of Waikiki to become Americaandrsquo;s first superstar Olympic swimmer. The original andldquo;human fishandrdquo; set dozens of world records and topped the world rankings for more than a decade; his rivalry with Johnny Weissmuller transformed competitive swimming from an insignificant sideshow into a headliner event.
Kahanamoku used his Olympic renown to introduce the sport of andldquo;surf-riding,andrdquo; an activity unknown beyond the Hawaiian Islands, to the world. Standing proudly on his traditional wooden longboard, he spread surfing from Australia to the Hollywood crowd in California to New Jersey. No American athlete has influenced two sports as profoundly as Kahanamoku did, and yet he remains an enigmatic and underappreciated figure: a dark-skinned Pacific Islander who encountered and overcame racism and ignorance long before the likes of Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, and Jackie Robinson.
Kahanamokuandrsquo;s connection to his homeland was equally important. He was born when Hawaii was an independent kingdom; he served as the sheriff of Honolulu during Pearl Harbor and World War II and as a globetrotting andldquo;Ambassador of Alohaandrdquo; afterward; he died not long after Hawaii attained statehood. As one sportswriter put it, Duke was andldquo;Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey combined down here.andrdquo;
In Waterman, award-winning journalist David Davis examines the remarkable life of Duke Kahanamoku, in and out of the water.
"Historian Maguire (Law and War) and former drug smuggler Ritter delve into the world of the international marijuana trade of the 1960s and 1970s, tracing its quasi-utopian roots to its suppression during the War on Drugs. Utilizing hundreds of interviews, the authors reveal how early entrepreneurs bringing high-quality marijuana into the United States sincerely believed that these drugs could provide epiphanies otherwise inaccessible; making fortunes by supplying illicit drugs was, for them, a case of doing well while doing good. Such sums of money attracted genuine predators, from ruthless drug lords to brutal pirates. In addition, the hapless transcendental entrepreneurs found themselves faced with an American government marching grimly towards an enforced prohibition on all illegal drugs, hard and soft. The authors are sympathetic to the loftier goals of the soft drug pioneers while acknowledging the realities of uninhibited capitalism; grand ambitions often led to a dank prison cell or an unmarked grave." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
andldquo;Congratulations to Jeremy Evans for telling the truest story so far about Pavones, the iconic end-of-the-road place where human greed and conflict threatened to destroy exactly what brought people there.andrdquo;andmdash;Drew Kampion, award-winning author and former editor ofand#160;Surfer
andldquo;Jeremy Evans tells the true story of surfers, tuna, drug lords, and jungle fever in the backwaters and blue bays of Costa Rica. For anyone who has traveled the surf coast of Central America,and#160;The Battle for Paradise
and#160;is a must-read.andrdquo;andmdash;Serge Dedina, executive director of Wildcoast and author ofand#160;Wild Sea
and#160;andand#160;Surfing the Border
andldquo;The waves of Pavones rifle down a long left-hand point break, and for this reason they have become some of the most iconic waves in Costa Rica. However, as incredible as the waves are, the story behind the town is what will truly leave you gasping for air.andrdquo;andmdash;Kyle Thiermann, professional surferand#160;
andldquo;Pavones, Costa Rica, lay in a bucolic slumber until an entrepreneurial American smuggler with a Napoleon complex paid cash for a county-sized chunk of its surf-swept coast and made himself king. Things spiraled out of control from there, subsiding into a tropical stew of escapists, surfers, squatters, greed, and long, clean lefts.andrdquo;andmdash;Steve Pezman, publisher of the Surferandrsquo;s Journaland#160;
andldquo;David Davis writes a wonderful tale of this royal ambassador of alohaandmdash;effortlessly riding through a world of storms with magnanimity and grace.andrdquo;andmdash;Shaun Tomson, author of Surferandrsquo;s Code: Twelve Simple Lessons for Riding Through Life
andldquo;David Davis has combined clear writing and meticulous research to present the life and times of one of the legends of Olympic history.andrdquo;andmdash;David Wallechinsky, president of the International Society of Olympic Historians
andldquo;Itandrsquo;s remarkable how little we know about Duke Kahanamoku, one of the great figures in American sports history. As we discover in this book, there is much to be learned. We owe a debt of gratitude to David Davis for bringing the Dukeandrsquo;s story so thoroughly to life.andrdquo;andmdash;Bruce Jenkins, author of North Shore Chronicles: Big-Wave Surfing in Hawaii
andldquo;Duke Kahanamoku unabashedly introduced his unique island mind-set and highly evolved ocean skills, all derived from the nature of his surroundings, to the world beyond Hawaii. For that, he is revered to this day.andrdquo;andmdash;Steve Pezman, publisher of theand#160;Surferandrsquo;s Journal
Pavones, a town located on the southern tip of Costa Rica, is a haven for surfers, expatriates, and fishermen seeking a place to start over. Located on the Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf), a marine sanctuary and one of the few tropical fjords in the world, Pavones is home to a legendary surf break and a cottage fishing industry.and#160;In 2004 a multinational company received approval to install the worldandrsquo;s first yellowfin tuna farm near the mouth of the Golfo Dulce. The tuna farm as planned would pollute the area, endanger sea turtles, affect the existing fish population, and threaten the world-class wave. A lawsuit was filed just in time, and the project was successfully stalled. Thus began an unlikely alliance of local surfers, fishermen, and global environmental groups to save a wave and one of the most biodiverse places on the planet.and#160;In The Battle for Paradise, Jeremy Evans travels to Pavones to uncover the story of how this ragtag group stood up to a multinational company and how a shadowy figure from the townandrsquo;s violent past became an unlikely hero. In this harrowing but ultimately inspiring story, Evans focuses in turn on a colorful cast of characters with an unyielding love for the ocean and surfing, a companyandrsquo;s unscrupulous efforts to expand profits, and a government that nearly sold out the perfect wave.
About the Author
David Davis is the author of Showdown at Shepherdand#8217;s Bush: The 1908 Olympic Marathon and the Three Runners Who Launched a Sporting Craze; Play by Play: Los Angeles Sports Photography, 1889and#8211;1989; and Marathon Crasher: The Life and Times of Merry Lepper, the First American Woman to Run a Marathon. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Smithsonian, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and in three anthologies, including The Best American Sports Writing. He lives in Los Angeles.