The immediate Experience is the finest collection of essays on popular culture since Mary McCarthy's slambang Sights and Spectacles. Though Mr. Warshow does not have the celebrated McCarthy sting nor her dazzling contempt for what is not ""right"" he is, on the other hand, more civilized, cultivated and committed. He writes with a high seriousness, a gentle wit, a warm feeling for the language and his subject matter and a fine understanding of the intricacies of ""intellectualized positions and prejudices. His comments on Arthur Miller, especially in relation to the Liberal Conscience and the dilemma vis a vis the old pre-War rapprochement with the Soviets, equals in brilliance his expose of the phony idealism of the Rosenbergs, which in turn are suavely complemented by the phony ""anti-communism"" of McCarthyism and the radical Right. He treats the cinema gangster and cowboy heroes as socio-psychological symbols of a collective fantasy life and answers the publicized Dr. Wertham's charge of depraved comic books with verve and grace. And he unearths the sardonic savagery plus sentimentality of Chaplin's genius. A perceptive digest indeed.