In this informal, pleasantly rambling account written with Newsweek editor Leerhsen, the sound-barrier-busting air pioneer recalls hunting and fishing adventures, and talks interestingly about his passion for fixing machines and growing up in West Virginia. His wife Glennis, pal Bud Anderson, brother Hal and several other friends and admirers chime in now and then, filling in details the taciturn general leaves out. Anderson, for instance, thinks fun is Yeager's middle name, and offers examples of his aggressive pursuit of it in far-flung wildernesses. Hal remarks that his brother ``will never be confused with Leo Buscaglia,'' and goes on to discuss the emotional self-control and stoicism that is a family tradition. The general himself comes across as a likable, uncomplicated guy with a wry sense of humor who has developed the ability to enjoy himself in mountainous boondocks into something of an art. As this memoir indicates, there is probably no better companion on a long-range backpacking trek into the Sierra. Yeager, uninterested in ``this hero business,'' acknowledges that although Tom Wolfe is a nice fellow, ``I've never understood a lot of what he was driving at'' in The Right Stuff . The general much prefers reading Louis L'Amour. (October)
Carrying on in the style of Yeager , the General regales readers with entertaining tales of his post-military adventures, his home life, and, most of all, his love of the outdoors. In fact, this entry belongs more in the hunting and fishing section than in aviation history, since there are pages on mountain backpacking. The philosophy (expressed in the title) and personal makeup of that younger fighter pilot are still evident, however. The remainder of the book is a description of his daily life, coping with what he wryly calls ``the hero business'' and what he sees as his obligation to his public. Yeager never heard of ``the right stuff'' before Tom Wolfe coined the term, but if personal style and confidence are part of that ``stuff,'' Yeager certainly has it. Mel D. Lane, Sacramento, Cal.