ne-up on the well-informed mind, the cultivated mind which has a view to the subtleties of man's spiritual search is what Edward Hodnett is aiming to provide his readers. His effort to confront them with greatness produces a combination of historical background and significant works quickly plumbed of giant figures in the Western civilization syndrome. The impact of ideas is expressed through Socrates, lato, Rousseau, Marx, Freud, Gandhi; scientific vision by Aristotle, Newton, Darwin, asteur; the revelations in biography through such as Henry and Elizabeth Tudor, amuel Johnson, Strachey's subjects, Henry Adams, Montaigne; the arts from the fiction of the Iliad and Odyssey, Faulkner and O. Henry, through the drama of Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Shaw, O'Neill, the art of Rembrandt and Cezanne, the music of Bach and Mozart. Along with these introductions to stock figures are quick dissertations on the nature of the artist, of fiction, and so forth, with a final chapter devoted to self-cultivation using the previous encounters as inspirational background. The author is earnest in setting up cultural guideposts, and his book may prove a painless, partially profitable nostrum for the person who is at sea in the cultural swim, although the total has an old-fashioned air of certitude in approach and scope.