of all her allegations to the contrary,ntends to confuse the need for humannsensitivities with the need for civil rights.nIn short, her perceptiveness notwithstanding,nshe sees a better world in annimpulse to legislate equalities—thusnendorsing the basic error of feminism.nWhat’s different in her book is hernattempt to understand men even if disagreeingnwith their demand, or wish,nfor idiosyncrasy. Ms. Gittelson seeksnobjectivity and fairness by stressing thencommonality, or “humanness.” Goodnenough as a proof of good will, but,nagain, another fundamental feministnmistake as both the commonality andnhumanness of the man-woman interrelationnis in the difference and its consequences—anGod- and nature-given paradoxnwhich no social furor will turn intona no-nonsense regulation. For Ms. Gittelson,na man displaying goodness andnunderstanding for a woman is an ideologicalnbrother. But kindness existednbefore Ms. Magazine proclaimed itsncompulsory bureaucratization, and itnmight have conditioned the human existencesnto a larger degree than sexualnfantasies. The falsest premise of a wellintentionednbook like Dominus is thatnit assumes, under the onslaught andnblare of shrill, media-fanned “revolutions”—thatnthe contemporary womannmust hate men to be a woman, thatneven the “traditional” woman has hatednmen, but being unable to voice hernhatred adequately and efficiently, wasnalways taken for someone else than shenreally was.nNothing indicated that it has ever beennso, or that it is so now. DnSpackman’snHonorable ToynW.M. Spackman: An Armful of WarmnGirl;nKnopf; New York.nCertainly, the front-of-the-jacket vignettenis delightful. So is the title. Butnthat’s about it. Mr. Spackman’s novelettenconfirms that a charming literary bubblenis the most difficult literary feat undernthe sun. He tried, and failed—let’s add:nhonorably. ‘What should have been annetude in stylization was in some waynvitiated by the unintentional boisterousnessnwhich sneaked in the lieu ofnmordant irony, and stultified the syncopationnof innuendos. The novel and itsnmessage were perhaps conceived as thenAmerican Les Liaisons dangereuses,nseductiveness a la Americaine; maybe ansubtle satire, or mock nostalgia. ButnNicholas Romney, Mr. Spackman’snversion of an irresistible and tendernsenior banker, father and bemused divorce,ndoes not seem to understand delicatensituations and gentle traps of lifenthe way King David, Goethe and Nabokovndid —that is through refined, oftenntormented, intuition that only appearsnas light-mindedness. He is too beefy,nand too limited in his repertory of responsesnto be convincing and appealing—tonus readers, of course, because the fanciesnof the women whom he attracts are, asnusual, unfathomable and beyond discussion.nThe style in which Mr. Spackmannpresents his tribulations is that of chattynpointilism, which makes it difficult tondiscern the author’s finer points as therenis a marked difference between a paintingnand a dialogue. This book has been hailednby critics as the ultimate in modernnpastiche, a fond allusion to better timesnand styles. What this book evidences isnthat Mr. Spackman’s mere intention tonwrite about sentimental aloneness, aboutnfeelings of wanting one particularnwoman who is specified by an individualnset of shapes, appeals, perfumes and bodyntemperatures, and to locate his tale innthe early fifties when those componentsnof a femnie still had a meaning, not ansocial image, triggered a responsivenchord in the critics and the public. Now,nwhen the “old ways” as a substance ofnsexuality are out, America seems to missnand long for suaveness, urbanity andnmultiformity of what once was callednthe affairs of the heart. But even thencritics who praised Mr. Spackman’snnovel stopped short of saying it openlynand squarely. DnnnWinn’s Impossibilitynof WinningnMarie Winn: The Plug-In Drug;nViking; New York.nWhereas the bulk of T”V criticism hasnbeen aimed at sex, violence and inanity-nMiss Winn attacks the entire medium.nAll (or almost all) the ills of what shenlabels “the television generation” arenattributed to TV. Network executivesnshould be gratified to learn of their pervasivenpower. Among the societal ailmentsnMiss Winn lays at the doorstep ofntelevision are: declining SAT scores,ncounterculture aberrations, drugs, increasednviolence, promiscuity, and alterationsnin brain function. Although shenhas a degree in neither medicine nornsociology, Miss Winn carefully explainsnher suppositions in both fields; all thenwhile admitting that there is no real proofnavailable, but television is in her opinionnthe only explanation which ties togethernthe various unpleasant phenomena of then’60s and ’70s.nThe vicious cycle begins with “ploppingnthe kids in front of Sesame Street “innorder to obtain temporary peace. A fewnyears later, the kids want to do nothingnbut watch TV. Families’ daily schedulesnare timed by TV programs and workednaround “the kids’ viewing requirements.”nMiss Winn examines two sets of families:nthose who have never owned a televisionnset and those who have stoppedntheir viewing for a period of time. Familiesnwho have never owned a set simplynfind pleasure in other pursuits. Thosenwho refrained from using their televisionnfor a period of months invariably reportedninitial “withdrawal symptoms,” then annidyllic time of family togetherness, morenefficient use of the day, and a greaterndesire to read good books. They alsoninvariably turned the television back on.nThe upshot of the author’s analysis isnthat excessive television watching is inadvisablenfor both children and adults. It isnan interesting statement, perhaps a littlenobscured by Miss Winn’s evangelisticnfervor, but beyond any doubt—with nonchance to win in our time and society. Dn19nChronicles of Culturen