Much better to drown than to wade through this stroke-by-stroke analysis of swimming by the world's most egocentric athlete. Apart from the fact that it's plainly dangerous to assume that written directions--even followed to the letter--can keep anyone afloat, it's absurd when those directions are as contorted as these, interspersed as they are with distracting dissertations on ""fluid mechanics"" (to demonstrate the arm motions of the crawl, he talks about the rate of speed at which a board moves through the water). The illustrations, meant to demonstrate the art of each stroke, are a riot. Toothy photographs of Spitz, grinning like a bandit. Spitz diving. Spitz crawling. Spitz with his arms around lissome females. Spitz, reassuring his students: ""Perhaps you're thinking 'of course he can feel confident in the water, he's the best swimmer in the world'."" Were we thinking that?