throughout the book to be a lifelongnconfidante is settling one more score,nthis time at her subject’s expense? Hence,nperhaps, the real point of the epigraphnfrom Psalm 55: “The words of his mouthnwere smoother than butter, but war wasnin his heart.”nIjy his own account John Sack isnover 50 years of age: yet the mentalitynbehind Fingerprint is that of a collegenstudent of, say, 1981, who is mesmerizednby every cliche of the late (or high) 60’s.nAn unwitting parody of the positions itnso relentlessly advocates. Fingerprintnbespeaks the faith of the Random Houseneditors that the “counterculture” adolescentsnof a decade back will never grownup. Here is nearly every feature of thendistinctively 60’s mind-set—^a blind hostilitynto technology extending even tonreason itself, an egotistical and naivenanarchy which sets the ever-innocentnself against stupid and malign authorities,na ludicrous confusion of personal gripesnand public concerns, and pseudoprofunditiesnculminating in easy evasions.nPerhaps unintentionally the best distillationnof everything wrong with the attitudesnso prevalent a decade back, Sack’snslender volume manages to oversimplifyneven the simplifications of TheodorenRoszak, Charles Reich, and the rest. Onlynthe message oijonathan Livingston Seagull,nSack’s saving revelation—“you toonIn the Mailncan fly”—escapes parody, and that onlynbecause it is beneath parody.nSack’s method is to select a few eventsnor scenes from stages of his life in illustrationnof his incessant thesis: since then17th century. Western man has been onnthe road to annihilation through his pursuitnof dehumanizing efficiency. Such anstatement, however, falls to convey thenpeculiarly delirious tone of the book.nFor this only examples will suffice. In annearly section Sack moves without pausenfrom depicting his pathetic, driven lathern(a clutzy “efficiency expert” with a manianfor boring holes in the walls of the family’snmodest home) to this hysterical visionnof eco-apocalypse now:nOh Daddy, I don’t think I’ll get throughnthe next twenty years of our mad arcadia.nWe have fifty thousand dangerousnchemicals in America—^it rainsnnitric acid in San Francisco and sulfuricnacid in Washington . . . and thenriver caught fire in Cleveland. The nitricnoxide in SST’s, the freon (a millionnannual tons) in hair sprays, etcetera,nthe methane (a hundred million annualntons) in the farts of domesticncows—the contents of our cloudncuckoo-land turn the O, to O2 and thenultraviolet light to the Angel of Death.nThe entire book—clogged with arcanentrivia and literary references—^has thisnbreathless, delirious style that never letsnup. Again, after recounting a militarynNow It Can Be Told: The Story of the Manhattan Project by Leslie M. Groves; DaCaponPress; New York. A reprint at a timely moment: the military man in charge of the project showsnthat those involved with nuclear weapons put their pants on one leg at a time, too.nThe American Journal of Jurisprudence (Vol. 27) edited by Robert E. Rodes andnCharles E. Rice; University of Notre Dame; Notre Dame, IN. “There is an order of goodnessnin the universe, and human knowledge can attain it.” So opens the first essay, written by GerhartnNiemeyer. Clearly, there is more here than that which is in the exclusive domain of jurists.nKilling for Profit: The Social Organization of Felony Homicide by Mary Lorenz Dietz;nNelson Hall; Chicago. This sociologist fi-om Detroit maintains that there is a perverse entrepreneurialnspirit aboimding. Detroit has been trying to get out of that business for years.nSOinChronicles of Culturennnsnafu in the Korean conflict. Sack lambastesnHobbes and our Hobbesian civilization,nthen pronounces a remedy onnthe authority (always reliable) of annEastern sage: abolish authorities andnwars will vanish. Only the pristine Selfnwill remain:nNow hear me, America! I learned longnago and I’ve learned again, I mustn’tnindenture myself to any authoritiesnbut me, myself, my shadow, and I. Sonlong live me! The most efficient rulernof me! Viva John Sack!nAt the close the book reveals its essentialnfrivolity. Having denounced the Westnas a civilization of Dr. Frankensteins,nRappaccinis, Strangeloves,and—of coursen—Lieutenant Galleys, Sack ends bynquickly sidestepping the abyss into whichnhe has spent the book telling us we arenso determinedly plunging. With the usualnbarrage of references—this time tonVonnegut, Gandhi, Havelock Ellis, J. KnGalbraith, Thoreau, D. H. Lawrence, andnHenry Adams (all in one paragraph)—thenauthor assures us he is not really againstntechnology so long as it does not make anslave of mankind. All the apocalypticnfrenzy was, after all, just a pose. But Sackndoes follow his own logic, at least whenndoing so is convenient for ending thenbook. Intellect, he has maintained, is thenreal problem, and writing (especiallynwhen one must quote everything onenhas, presumably, ever read) is intellection;ntherefore. Sack decides to heednWordsworth’s advice to the youngnscholar to “quit your books.” Sack wUlncease writing, even thinking, and havenus join him in trusting instead not to anyn”high-hatted authority within or withoutnourselves, but [to] the instincts that tellnus to eat, eliminate, and sleep.” If onlynone could trust this true son of dullnessnto abide by his advice and devote his remainingnyears to sleep instead of hacknsocial commentary. Alas, like his doomsdaynposturing, this too is likely to provenbut the convenient pose of the hour.nLiibraries will classify Fingerprintnunder 1) Civilization, Modern—20thn