..... under the microscope, personally applied by the 42 year old mother of a 4 year old daughter, as she views, sometimes with alarm, sometimes with hope, the world in which they are living. Against an autobiographical background, of her own parents and the precepts by which she was raised, of education and social and economic pressures, of her first book, With Malice Towards Some which took her ""into the ranks of the Terribly Solvent"", and of her subsequent life of divorce, psychiatric treatment, remarriage and motherhood, she takes issue with concepts too easily accepted, too easily proved false. The American dreams -- of money, of a business society, of do-gooders, of the institution of the family and of education -- are explored and sometimes exploded; the questions of prejudice, Christianity and of the ""upward step"" are examined for their fundamental truths; parenthood and the conflict of current tensions, the fashions in socio-political trends, the power of the communications industry -- all come in for their share of discussion. She promises no answers but manages to pose her questions and handle her comments and criticisms with crisp carefulness and in stimulating style. A think-through book, wider than its own domestic horizons.