Heaven on Earth: Dispatches from America's Spiritual Frontier

Michael D'Antonio, Author Crown Publishers $20 (422p) ISBN 978-0-517-57802-5

D'Antonio ( Fall from Grace: The Failed Crusade of the Christian Right ) takes the reader on a compelling exploration of the New Age, visiting such diverse places as an environmentalist demonstration in the Sierra Nevada; a transcendental meditaton seminar in Fairfield, Iowa; the Arizona town of Sidona, which has become a center of New Age awareness and hence a booming tourist attraction; and Ben and Jerry's Vermont ice cream company. The book is far from a detached report of yet another trend, however; D'Antonio weaves his thoughts and opinions into the text and also documents his interchanges--not all of them neutral--with the believers and nonbelievers he met. The book is not only a superb chronicle of American society today, it is highly entertaining as well. (Feb.)