This is social criticism at its most elementary, a sort of tertiary source on the mores of mid-twentieth century U.S.A.--a Sodom and Gomorrah with inhibitions. Mr. Coffin's long bibliography attests to his research among the well-known, big-selling secondary sources on sex, a subject that is staggeringly well-covered (or dredged.) Thus these essays become a popularization of the popular, or the reverse twist--from paperback reprint back into hardcover. Advertising, Hollywood, radio, the automobile, the slacking off in rigid parental control, what the experts predict--all that's gone before made easy. It's written without any overpowering sense of indignation and its most interesting and amusing section deals with the mechanistic handbooks on the gymnastics of sex. Van de Velde, the hardy perennial for delicate passion flowers, gets pretty well taken apart, which is unusual treatment for standard texts. Not for a sophisticated readership.