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politics, or to American history. The book is a compilation, a system- atic presentation of accepted doctrine. In his exposition of the theory of politics Mr. Ashley, in the main, follows Professor Burgess certainly a safe guide. The author is, however, more than a mere copyist or epitomizer. He sifts evidence, balances opinions, and has views of his own. For example, he differs with some eminent author- ities in thinking that "cabinet government" would not do for us; he expresses the opinion that " a society changing as rapidly as ours in the United States is unlikely to have the same kind of government in different periods of its national history;" that, if "the United States cannot hold in check the forces of centralization, we may well come to the conclusion that federalism is after all but a transitory phase in the development of centralized states with powerful central governments ; " that " the president .... in time of war must be a sort of dictator, even though he may not receive the full support of Congress, as Lincoln did;" that "international success may depend on great cen- tralization of power in unfettered officials, chosen not because they represent the people, but because of unquestioned capacity;" that "liberty and equality cannot live together." One wonders as he reads such opinions whether " imperialism " has not distorted the writer's sight.
The historical presentation is vivacious and interesting. So, too, the account of the development of our nationality will doubtless prove of great interest to high-school pupils. The combination of history and politics is, in a measure, a good thing, for it gives the pupil a better perspective and arouses greater interest. A text-book on this plan is far superior to those old schoolbooks on civics which killed enthusiasm with long descriptions of the anatomy of the government, without a word about the workings of political life.
It is a question, however, whether we do not find too much history and economics in the book. A good deal of the historical account presupposes a deeper knowledge of English history than a high-school pupil ordinarily will have, and more than is necessary for a proper knowledge of his country's government. The multiplicity of detail is likely, moreover, to be confusing, and it is a question whether much of the advantage of historical perspective is not lost in this confusion. It seems, on the whole, that it would have been better to assume a famil- iarity with our political history and to have shown briefly the bearing of its main points upon the form of government finally adopted, and then to have passed to a discussion of the existing institutions.