of regaining momentum in our own affairs,nor realigning reality with the illusionsnthat mark our present condition.nAn Outside Chance is ostensibly ancollection of 18 essays on sport in thengreat outdoors—fully half of these essaysnrelate a variety of angling adventures,nand the others include tales ofnmotorbike-riding, cow-roping, trailhorseriding,nsailing, hunting and golf.nBut McGuane’s low-keyed celebrationnof man against nature curiously sets usnto thinking about how technique hasnrestricted rather than broadened thenbody knowledge we used to be able tonintegrate with what was going on innour heads.nDescribing a fishing event in SannFrancisco, McGuane pinpoints the dilemmanof the modern angler:nFishing for sport is itself an act ofnracial memory, and in places like thenGolden Gate Club it moves towardnthe purer symbolism of tournaments.nThe old river-spawned fish have beennreplaced by pellet-fed and plantednsimulacra of themselves. Now evennthe latter seem to be vanishing in favornof plastic target rings and linesndepicting increments of distance. It’snvery cerebral.nThe sustaining moral energy derivednfrom the movement and change of thennatural landscape, which lies dramaticallynjuxtaposed to the “civilized” formsnof urban centers, is lost once simulationnand symbol become total surrogates fornimmediate experiencing. And next, likenseemingly all our competitive teamnsports, angling and hunting will be reducednto the level of the proliferatingnpush-button computer game. Suchntransformations deny us the visceralncorrelatives so necessary to judge ournhuman achievements. For what disappearsnwhen sport becomes increasinglynmechanized, when, in the process ofnenacting sports, creature comforts andnplastic entertainment become the organizingnpriority, is our cognizance ofnthe purpose behind the pursuit. Despitensurface appearances to the contrary, ourngoal is not to triumph over our prey in anliteral sense (hook and catch the fish,nstalk and kill the deer), for in an age ofnhigh technology the results of such ancontest, were we to employ all the vastnarray of firepower at our disposal, wouldnbe a foregone conclusion; rather, ourngoal is to internalize a deeper understandingnof the prey, to reach a harmonynof respect and equality, so that thesenethical qualities which finally determinenour character might inform our behavioralnchoices in a variety of socialnsettings.nImages of pristine relatedness aboundnthroughout McGuane’s pages. When hentalks about Chink’s Benjibaby, a cownhorse who hated “confinement, machinery,nand the twentieth century,” wenare forced to recognize patterns beyondnour own selfish conventions:nThe roaring crowd . . . prevented Patnfrom even hearing the signal that hisnrun was over. People walked towardnthem across the arena to tell him thatnthe time was up. But Pat and the crazynmare were head to head with a singlencow, absolutely alone in an old dance.nA cowboy’s horse had come home.nOr when McGuane explains to his sonnthe only “acceptable Realpolitik” fornIn the Mailna true angler, we see how choice is anfunction of delicate environmental relationships—upsetncertain balances andnour range of options becomes surprisinglyndiminished:n… if the trout are lost, smash thenstate. More than any other fish, troutnare dependent upon the ambience innwhich they are caught. It would benhard to say whether or not it is thentrout or the angler who is more sensitizednto the degeneration of habitat,nbut probably it is the trout. At thenfirst signs of deterioration, the otherwisenvigorous trout just politely quits,nas though to say, ‘If that’s how younwant it . . .’ Meanwhile, the anglernqualitatively lapses in citizenship.nOther fishermen may toss their baitsninto the factory shadows. The troutnfisherman who doesn’t turn dangerouslynunpatriotic just politely quits,nlike the trout.nHow essential an ingredient of truenintelligence is moral correspondence,nMcGuane’s itinerary of sporting episodesnmakes manifest by indirection.nThe analogy to the social emphysemanwith which the pollution of lib culturenhas stricken us should come as no surprisenhere. We need more than plasticntarget rings to exercise our moral mus-nThe Controversy of Zion by Douglas Reed; Bloomfield Books; Sudbury, Suffolk,nEngland. A routine, virulently antisemitic tract (based on the primitive premise thatnthere is only one source of all mankind’s predicaments), whose only distinction is that itncomes not from Moscow or Nuremberg but from England. Among Reed’s revelations:nJesus was not a Jew and Winston Churchill was a card-carrying Zionist.n”The Honorable Ronald W. Reagan Remarks on The Hoover Institution”; ThenHoover Institution; Washington, D.C. The text of remarks by President-elect Reagannat a dinner in Washington, D.C. January 1981.nWord Memory Power in 30 Days by Peter Funk with Barry Tarshis; DelacortenPress; New York. A revolutionary approach to vocabulary-building by the author ofnthe venerable Reader’s Digest column “It Pays to Increase Your Word Power.”nSadat’s Strategy by Paul Eidelberg; Dawn Books; Quebec, Canada. An unusualnexamination of Egyptian President Sadat’s strategy and motives concerning peace in thenMiddle East, and Israel in particular.nnnXovember/December 1981n.Xn