Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/139

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127
LITERARY NOTICES.

past down to the present time have been modified by all the changing conditions of national life to which they have been conformed, and have been molded in sympathy with the ideas which were dominant in the races among which they have been applied. Following the subject in its chronological and logical relations, attention is first called to the Oriental countries, in which are included China, India, Persia, Palestine, and Egypt. In these lands, the individual counts for nothing; and education does not aim to develop a perfect man or woman, but to prepare its subjects for their place in the established order of things. Subjection to authority is the principle on which most stress is laid, while the source of the all-controlling authority may vary in the different countries. Quite different were the ideas in the classical nations, Greece and Rome, where the individual was brought into prominence: education was made the subject of careful thought and was controlled by higher principles; enlarged views of its nature were promulgated; and beautiful results were obtained as exhibited in the physical and intellectual life of the people. With the Christian dispensation came a new era in history, and education was profoundly affected and placed on a new and immovable foundation. The history of Christian education in Europe and America is naturally divided into two periods—the period before the Reformation and the period after the Reformation. The story of the latter period is largely occupied with the struggle between the "humanist" and the "naturalist" or modern tendencies, which has continued and is still going on in our own day. Finally, under the heading of "Education in the Nineteenth Century" are reviewed the systems of Pestalozzi and Froebel, and contemporary education in Germany, France, England, and the United States.

The Depression in Trade and the Wages of Labor. By Uriel H. Crocker. Boston: W. B. Clarke & Carruth. Pp. 31.

Mr. Crocker is the author of the pamphlet entitled "Excessive Saving a Cause of Commercial Distress," which was noticed in the "Monthly" several months ago. In the present pamphlet he continues the discussion of the subject, and endeavors to give his views a practical direction. Reviewing the various theories that have been advanced to account for the present supposed hard times—when the "suffering" working-men are rejoicing to put themselves in idleness—he plants himself upon that which ascribes the depression to over-production. "We have," he says, "increased production by bending all our energies in that direction, aided all the while by the immense increase in the effective power of the machinery of production and distribution, and by the fact that years of labor spent in the creation of that machinery have brought us to a time when we are prepared fully to enjoy its use. On the other hand, we have done comparatively little for the increase of consumption. The possibility of such increase by the poor has been enlarged but little, while the inclination of the rich therefor has been greatly restricted. Under such circumstances, what wonder that production has run ahead of consumption—what wonder that general over-production, as an actual existing fact, has finally been reached?" His views of the means of remedying the conditions he depicts are quite as indefinite as those of most of the writers who have given attention to the subject. After dismissing several suggestions as remedies to be avoided rather than sought for, he falls back upon strikes and boycotts, but can not conceal an apprehension that they too—as they have done—will prove to have the action of a boomerang.

Astronomy by Observation. By {sc. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 90. Price, §1.

By observation mankind learned all the astronomy it knows, and came to the theories it holds as correct. By observation, Miss Bowen believes, pupils in schools can to-day be best taught to learn the phenomena of the heavenly bodies, and be guided to the deduction of the principles on which they depend. A brief article on "Astronomy in High Schools," which the author published in the "Monthly" of January, 1882, describing her experiences with her pupils in the method of observation, will furnish the key to this book, which has grown out of these experiments. "My ob-