Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 17.djvu/289

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277
LITERARY NOTICES.

gable lands, and on the physical features of the lands of Utah. There is also a paper by Captain C. E. Dutton on the irrigable lands of the valley of the Frazer River; and one by Professor A. H. Thompson on the irrigable lands of that portion of Utah drained by the Colorado River and its tributaries. The concluding chapter of the volume, by Willis Drummond, Jr., discusses the question of land grants as aids to internal improvement. The interest and value of the report are shown by the fact that the first edition was soon exhausted, and a second one called for.

Studies in Fermentation; the Diseases of Beer; their Causes and the Means of preventing Them. By L. Pasteur, Member of the Institute of France, the Royal Society of London, etc. Translated by Frank Faulkner and D. Constable Robbe. Macmillan & Co. Pp. 418. Price, $6.50.

There are but few subjects that would seem less attractive than the scientific investigation of ferments and the processes of fermentation, yet the book before us is alive with interest from beginning to end. This is due to the genius of the author, the scientific importance of his inquiry, the spirited controversies which have recently grown out of the inquiry, and its important practical results. Pasteur is a man remarkably endowed for subtile research. His investigation of the diseases of the silkworm was one of the most difficult, refined, and successful of modern researches. A delicate experimenter, a sharp observer, and a man of keen insight and careful judgment, he has taken the acknowledged lead in investigating the obscure phenomena of microscopic life at the present time. The questions opened are the deepest in modern thought, involving nothing less than the origin of life-forms, and the method of Nature regarding vital phenomena. Pasteur has been in the center of the battle of spontaneous generation, and yet so practical have been his investigations that the brewers are of all men most interested in them. The present work deals with the diseases of beer, and those deteriorations of its processes that are involved in the changes of fermentation; and its leading translator is an author of the "Art of Brewing." The work will be of great interest, therefore, to all engaged in this branch of manufacturing industry, not only by throwing light upon the theory of brewing, but by the solutions it gives of serious practical difficulties hitherto encountered in the brewer's art. Pasteur's elucidations of fermentative action bear also upon the operations of wine-making and vinegar-making, as well as beer making.

A Text-Book of Physiology. By M. Foster, M. A., M. D., F. R. S., Prælector in Physiology and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. With Illustrations. Macmillan & Co. Pp. 720. Price, $3.50.

The writing of his "Physiology" by Dr. Foster was far from being a case of bookmaking in the ordinary sense. He is a man not only devoted to his subject, but especially and assiduously devoted to its progress, so that the preparation of his textbook was but an incident in his studies, and has, moreover, been a continuous work with him for several years. The third edition, revised and enlarged, is now issued; and it represents, perhaps, better than any other book the recent advance and present condition of physiological science. Dr. Foster is at the head of the new physiological laboratory at Cambridge, England, where the experimental method of physiological inquiry is vigorously pursued; and his textbook is, of course, prepared from that point of view. Under this method, physiological science is slowly acquiring certainty and increasing precision in its conclusions, as no one can fail to see who compares Dr. Foster's text-book with the standard treatises of a few years ago. We agree with Professor Burt Wilder that this is "in some respects the best physiology in the English language." We note that a cheap students' edition of the work is to be issued in a short time.

A Forbidden Land; Voyages to the Corea. By Ernest Oppert. With 21 Illustrations and Two Charts. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1880. Pp. 334. Price, $3.

This is an interesting account of a little known country in Eastern Asia. The present kingdom of Corea consists of a large peninsula east of the Chinese Empire, extending from 42º north latitude to the