Mr. Hoyt herein attempts a jeremiad of present-day life in the States, cataloguing all the capers of the Golden Calf in government, business, private life, education, medicine, entertainment and so on. We are living in a Golden Age of money, he says, but all those linen dollars and bolts of credit are decomposing from parasitic bugs in the culture. If it is less successful than, says, Wylie's Generation of Vipers, it's because Mr. Holt lacks anger and moral passion, is apt to be too general, and has a writing style that is colorlessly unequal to the promise of his thesis. He uses spitballs instead of napalm. Nonetheless, he has satisfying moments, plus amusing quotes from his Hoyt family antecedents (Karl Marx Hoyt, John Milton Hoyt, Marcus Aurolius Hoyt.) Best when most personal, Hoyt describes his pursuit by the Internal Revenue Service, whose active premise is that everyone cheats and is an Al Capone. To the IRS you are guilty of fraud until proven innocent, which is often prohibitively expensive. Hoyt's family history of medical and dental bills, during which he denounces the ethics of doctors, dentists and insurance plans, also achieves a pleasant but not consummate indignation.