Caustic comments on the world scene, specifically the American part of it, are a dime a dozen nowadays, but very few have real bite or bounce. David Cort proves the exception. These one-man-invasions, generally culled from such battle stations as Town and Country, the Nation and the New Republic, offer a sharpshooter's delight, a sparkling causerie of what's woefully wrong, and also, sometimes, what's surprisingly right, within our humpty-dumpty brotherhood of foibles, fads and all-out fakery. The targets include ""sex happiness for absolutely everybody"", a marriage manual assault, the emergent nations (""the slaves have not been freed, they have only been turned loose to find new masters""), statistics (""More demonstrated love is undoubtedly shown to 20,000,000 dogs in the US today than to any other single group, including babies and male singers""), long-lifemanship, flying saucery, the new button-down bank robber, cancer and Madison Avenue, empire builders from Mao to Kennedy. And his exquisite double-talk essay on Buckminster Fuller, is a cross between James Thurber and Mary McCarthy, if such can be imagined. In short, it's a gem. As is most of Social Astonishments.