The title is caustic, for this long essay could more correctly be characterized as being about the failure of modernity. The author is a distinguished French intellectual. Though retired he retains a trenchant eye for the idiosyncracies and, he would say, idiocies of the new technologically driven world culture. Chesneaux takes the reader with him on his travels to the corners of the world, where he finds much to deplore. His pessimism may well be fashionable in some Parisian salons, and often he has a good point, but the stream of criticism, often highly personal, may lead the reader to ask, who cares?