Author of The Open Classroom and other works on alternative styles of education, Kohl here turns his sights toward social change and improvement. Drawing heavily from his personal experiences in the classroom and in adult groups, he reinvigorates what has by now become a pretty well shopworn subject. Personal growth, he says, is a process of becoming ""centered,"" where one neither recedes from nor indulges blindly in the affairs of the outside world. The book is somewhat overly confessional and self-indulgent in the recent radical retrospective style of Harrington, Ruder, etc., yet Kohl's knowledge justifies the effort. In his explanations of how personal behavior reflects cultural conditioning, of how difficult it is to change, and of how, once improved, actions may rebuild society, Kohl is more realistic than Laing, more sophisticated than the ""counterculturalists,"" though not quite so astute as was Paul Goodman.