From the standpoint of those that matured in the '30's, this is a reflective interpretative essay which attempts to ituate the despair and resignation which tempers our look in our cultural and historical heritage. From Henry Adams, who in the 1890's was lost in the new world which faced him, to Freud and the mental revolution which took place, we have been brought to the conclusion that ""the time is not only out of joint, it is indeed diseased"". And in the novels of Proust, Joyce, Mann, Kafka, there is the dissatisfaction and despair of the intellectual of this age. From there, Hughes surveys the political world, the transmutation of Marxism to Russia, and in the West which also featured a prevailing irrationality, the loss of freedom and the use of terror. And in America, still the home of true conservatism, there is the abandonment of isolationism for intervention- an intervention bordering on imperialism but one which recognizes the need for American hegemony. Using comparative perspectives taken from Toynbee and Spengler, this is a quite brilliant, stimulating evaluation- not too easily accessible to the average reader.