The target of these informal essays by a Canadian author and TV personality is the ""smug minority""--a group, often business-oriented, which foists on the Canadian public such ideological obsolescences as the gospel of work (your job is everything, even if it bores you to death); the gospel of freedom (a precious heritage you lose the minute you accept a welfare check); and the gospel of conformity (if you're different, you're a social menace). Berton urges the swift replacement of these attitudes by a faith more suited to the time, stressing a real freedom to learn, earn, and live according to one's own needs. American readers will be familiar with the ""myths"" the author criticizes, and with their purveyors. But they may wonder whether he's not flogging a dead horse. Here, at least, the C-of-C's bark is often more powerful than its bite. Social commentary that is light but not illuminating.