Is there a growing gap in today s world between cultural aspirations and their fulfillment, an aspirations-fulfillment gap that apparently is increasing social problems of all kinds? If so, what forces are producing that gap? How can these forces be changed? To answer these questions, Phillips and Johnston employ a very broad approach to the scientific method, drawing evidence from a wide variety of data and sources, including sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, historians, philosophers, educators, psychiatrists, and novelists. They find substantial evidence for a widening gap, suggesting an invisible crisis throughout contemporary society. They also find substantial evidence that a simplistic and static metaphysical stance or worldview is largely responsible for that gap, and that an alternative worldview can work to close that gap. For example, U.S. foreign policy that lowers its short-term aspirations for achieving democracy in the Middle East would reduce that gap and increase the possibility of achieving democracy in the long run.