"For the Life of the World" was useful for me in college, when (as one who grew up in an Orthodox home) people would come by trying to convert me to protestantism. It really helped me see that Orthodoxy wasn't just ancient belief and practice, but could be life itself. I think his writings are very abstract, though.
I actually think I'm jealous of Fr. Alexander sometimes, since for him, life seemed to be one joyous communion with God. Life hasn't been that easy for me, and a lot of times, I have trouble seeing God during tough times. It's useful to know that if we persist, maybe we can see life like Fr. Alexander.
Yes, I think he was the reason for weekly, or more regular, partaking of Holy Communion. People used to receive about once a year -- during Lent -- which is why people went to confession once a year -- before their annual Holy Communion. There was a big hulabaloo when he instituted the "general confession" which was a way to get Orthodox into the practice of more regular Holy Communion. But then some Orthodox bishops in the OCA have called general confession, really "no confession at all." The bottom line, I think, is the more frequently you receive Holy Communion, the more frequently you should go to confession.
I actually found Fr. Alexander Schmemann's private journals more interesting than his books. After his death, his wife translated his private journals from 1973-1983 into English (from the Russian or French he would usually write in I think). It was published by St Vladimir's Seminary in 1999 or so. He has daily thoughts on issues that face still today, like Orthodoxy and women's ordination, homosexuality, parish life, etc., and on various political issues during the 70's and 80's. Very compelling. Yet through all this, he still seemed to see life as one huge gift from God.
I think he was definitely a boon to Orthodoxy in America. I was aware that Fr. Seraphim Rose disagreed publicly with Fr. Alexander on a lot of issues, but, before Fr. Seraphim's death (he died in 1982, and Fr. Alexander in 1983), Fr. Seraphim was at SVS in New York and prostrated himself before Fr. Alexander asking forgiveness. How much more moving can it get?