If Mr. Levy's style were up to it, his polemies might provide a debater's guide to cultural criticism. As it is, he shoots straight from the lip and indicts various commercializing, vulgarizing influences: the Book-of-the-Month Club for instance; the writing school factories and vanity publishing houses; the ""Golden Dozen"" of Broadway, twelve middle-aged matrons who promote bad taste they are the benefit agents who account for one fifth of the calculated gross boxoffice. Then there's the degeneration of art (skin painting with live models; Rembrandt a Macy's special) and criticism: say book-reviewing (if economists review other economists for the Times, why not have children review juveniles?) And what about Esquire as a ""pseudocultural come-on"" or the grey grey matter of Educational Television? Points well taken rather than well made in a U.S. character caricature.