A History of Skiing

May, 2008

Sports historian and Professor Emeritus of History John B Allen’s latest book, The Culture and Sport of Skiing: From Antiquity to World War II, traces the history of skiing from practical activity to leisure pursuit.

In the book, published by the University of Massachusetts Press, Allen emphasizes the impact of culture on the development of skiing throughout Europe and around the world.

He also provides information on skiing pioneers including Norway’s Fridtjof Nansen, whose explorations on skis inspired the idea of skiing as sport; England’s Arnold Lunn, whose invention of downhill skiing and the slalom were foundations of the sport’s globalization; and Hannes Schneider, whose teachings introduced both speed and safety into the sport.

More than 50 images complement Allen’s text and illustrate skiing’s rich history and cultural significance over the years.


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