and a wealthy Englishman—nthough here the cast is muchnlarger and the contest is a footracenacross America. But the rarenpoignancy of Chariots derivesnfrom aspects of human experiencendeeper than athletic discipline:nthose who bought ticketsnfor Chariots paid to see art;nthose, on the other hand, whonbuy McNab’s novel will findnonly what the title promises—anrun for their money. McNabntries very hard to elevate longdistancenrunning in and of itselfninto a quasi-religion, but this irrationalnapotheosis of runnersnand running does not work well,nlapsing at times into mawkishnsentimentality about “the privilegednfew who can go close tonreaching [their] own potential.”nIn one of the most brilliantlynconceived sequences in Chariots,nLiddell preaches a sermonnwhile the camera illustrates thenmeaning of his words with simultaneousnscenes of the Olympicngames from which Liddellnhas absented himself. His text,nand an appropriate gloss uponnthe whole of Flanagan’s Run, isnfound in Isaiah, chapter 40: “Itnis he that sitteth upon the circlenof the earth and the inhabitantsnthereof are as grasshoppers…”nDnPsychotherapeuticnBactinenDavid Reuben, M.D.: Dr.nDavid Reuben’s Mental First-nAid Manual: Instant Reliefnfrom 2i of Life’s Worst Problems’,nMacmiUan; New York.nDan Ackroyd, from the originalnSaturday Night Live, wouldnhave known what to do with Dr.nReuben’s introductory chapter.nReuben’s prose creates an urgenin the reader to run to someone,nanyone, and read whole passagesnaloud in the fast-talkingn36inChronicles of Cttltiirenstyle used to sell things likenAckroyd’s “miracle products.”nBoth Dr. Reuben’s languagenand his logic seem to be aimed atnsomewhere around the sixthgradenintellectual level.nBut, in all fairness, the bookndoes contain meager flashes ofncommon sense. Having rejectednfrom the start what he considersnpseudopalliatives such as psychiatry,ndrugs, religion, traditionalnself-help books, cults, and exoticnsolutions. Dr. Reuben proceedsnto offer his own proposals fornrelieving the emotional distressnof problems like anxiety, boredom,ndepression, etc. Stop worrying;ntake up a new interest ornhobby; get (and keep) busy;nthese, in brief, are his respectivensolutions. Obviously they arenthe same solutions that peoplenhave known about for millennia.nDespite his earlier renunciationnof religion as being “out-oftouchnwith the realities of everydaynlife,” he has cuUed a greatndeal of material from Judeo-nChristianity’s main source book.nA large portion of his advice onnthe resolution of personal problems,nwhether he’s aware of it ornnot, rests on the “Do untonothers as you would have themndo unto you” principle, andneven more so on the old prayer:nGod grant me the serenity tonaccept the things I cannotnchange, the courage tonchange the things I can, andnthe wisdom to know the difference.nFor all his superficiality andnsimplism, Dr. Reuben does onenthing worthy of note: in this agenof blaming everyone and everythingnelse for one’ s problems, henis an advocate of taking responsibilitynfor one’s own life. Evennwith a problem that often isn ‘tnthe fault of the victim, e.g., unemployment,nhe counsels stepsnfor action to deal with the situationnrather than trying to locate anmore abstract culprit. In his finalnchapter Dr. Reuben comesndown four-square in support of,nof all things, a traditional lifestyle.nHe rejects the notion ofnfieedom from all standards ofnnormalcy, and he even lists whatnamounts to a secularized versionnof Judeo-Christian traditionalnmorality. He concludes:nIf you want to feel good, younhave to act good. . . . Younknow what the choices arenand you know what the consequencesnare. The rest is upnto you!nDnGastronomicnDelights andnSoggy LeftoversnJean-Frangois Revel: Culturenand Cuisine: A JourneynThrough the History of Food;nDoubleday; New York.nCalvin Trillin: Uncivil Liberties;nTicknor & Fields; New Haven, CT.nAn interesting controversy isncurrently raging in anthropologicalncircles, not the one aboutncreationism versus evolution,nbut about something very closento each Homo sapiens: food.nThe scientists are concerned withnRamapithecus, an apelike creaturenwho was either still up in thentrees or just moving down fromnthem, who emeiged on thenscene some 15 to 17 million yearsnago. Obviously, no table scrapsnfrom the age remain (nor anyntables); eating habits are beingndetermined through the examinationnof teeth. One camp says,nbased on dental-wear patterns,nthat Ramapithecus ate primarilynfruits, while another, whichnnotes the very thick tooth enamel,nclaims the fellows ate, almostnexclusively, nuts. Another relatednpoint in the prehistoricnmode: ours is the only speciesnthat cooks its food; when thenpractice first started (did ancientnnnman drop foodstuffs into a hotnspring and thus have the debutnof the boiled dinner, or did hensup on meat braised in a forestnfire?) remains to be determined.nJean-Frangois Revel doesn’tngo quite as far back as these anthropologistsnin Culture andnCuisine: AJoumey Through thenHistory of Food, but he doesnventure back to the Greeks,nciting the tastes exhibited bynAristophanes and the referencesnto edibles in Plato. Boiling versusngrilling, however, is a topic.nRevel’s concern isn’t exclusivelynwith the precise ingredients ofndishes, which is one way he differsnfrom other writers aboutnfood, though recipes from as farnback as the third century A. D. —nfroth the Deipnosophistai (“ThenDinner of the Savants”) bynAthenaeus for preparing tuna—nare included. Taste, both thenquality .of the food and the expectationsnof the historicalnpalate, is a key concern, and sonRevel recreates the flavor of thenpast through the use of texts—ncookbooks and more imaginativenliterature—and illustrationsnin his sumptuous banquet.nWith the addition of this booknto his oeuvre, the author ofnWithout Marx or Jesus and ThenTotalitarian Temptation showsnthat he is truly a Frenchman:ntendentious and a gourmand.nHis most recent text is a refreshingnchange from the ubiquitousnbooks that admonish readersnto starve or stuff themselvesnwith noncaloric repasts fit onlynfor those with anesthetizedntaste buds.nThere is a notable differencenbetween cuisine—even peasantnor bourgeois—2nd food. Food isnthe sort of thing that an unmarriednhungry person rummagesnabout in his or her cupboardsnand fridge for—various cannednthings and frozen slabs—after anlong day at work. One type ofnfood that soars or sinks—there isnno middle ground—is leftovers.nThis culinary rumination is con-n