Charles Lemert regards his book as a successor to C. Wright Mills’s The Sociological Imagination and Alvin Gouldner’s The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology. His title implies that Gouldner’s crisis has come and gone. However, he argues that Western culture is in permanent crisis, which contradicts both the medical and the broader metaphorical uses of the term. Lemert’s uncertainty results from the dual nature of the alleged crisis: it is a crisis within sociology reflecting, or rather failing adequately to reflect, crisis in the larger society. This is consistent with Mills and Gouldner, both of whom accused sociology of “lecturing on navigation while the ship is going down” (Auden). Mills thought sociologists were fiddling when Rome was at risk of burning in a nuclear conflagration caused by the “crackpot realism” of “the power elite.” Gouldner opened his preface with the declaration that “we theorize today within the sound of guns,” meaning the campus rebellions of the late 1960s.