"The De-Moralization of Society, From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values," by Gertrude Himmelfarb. Knopf. 314 pages. $24.
With language and clarity that belies Dr. Himmelfarb's well-earned reputation as one of America's premier intellectual historians, she presents a profile of Victoran dynamics and values that humiliates most modern images of that era. If you are seriously concerned about the apparent decay of ethics, morality and conventions of social responsibility in modern America, this book will send you to the nearest soapbox, preaching eloquently to the yet-to-be-saved.