Wendy Kaminer's I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional: The Recovery Movement and Other Self-Help Fashions (Random House-Vintage) took a lot of heat when it first came out. No wonder! This book is an intelligent challenge to North America's biggest organized religion. She deals with hard questions: the marriage of feminism and recovery, the sanctity of victimhood, the misogyny implicit in today's "men's movement," the "metaphorical homelessness" so sought after by a middle class that just doesn't want to have to think about poor people any more. She is alarmed by our eagerness to see ourselves as tiny victimized "children within," and she suggests the "notion of selfhood that emerges from recovery (the most vulgarized renditions of salvation by grace, positive thinking and mind cure) is essentially more conducive to totalitarianism than democracy." In Kaminer's last chapter, disarmingly titled The Political Problem of Self-Help, Which the Author Has No Idea How to Solve, she says it is the New Age's lack of a "spirit of improvisation" which she finds most disturbing. "Experts exalt intuition," she writes, "but they don't actually value it. How could they? It would threaten their business much more than intellectualism ever has or could."