ildly successful spoof of the American academy, its mincing, methodological double talk, and of American life in general, as juxtaposed against an ""area study"" of a mythical utopia called Sedge. Through Sedge, and its ""anthropologico-psychologico-socio-politico-cultural complex"" the author, a New Republic and foreign affairs expert, voyages- much in the manner of a visitor out of Voltaire or Diderot- or so he apparently hopes. His guide, a Professor Pluvis, sort of deadpan Peter Sellers, not only shows off the Sedgian marvel, where art and religion are one, and not the act but the spirit counts, but also parlays a few barbs vis-a-vis American bureaucracy and progress (in Sedge, bigness is badness). The professor hits out at household gods as well; ""the way to bring up children"" he quite flatly states ""is badly"". No doubt. And the way to write a really sharp, stinging satire is to make sure your darts always have a target. After a while in Sedge, that's doubtful.