Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/576

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

to the true upbuilding of the nation and the development of a civilization founded on justice and humanity; but unless that day comes soon evil may be wrought both to our national character and to our institutions which it may take long years to repair.

 
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Scientific Literature.
SPECIAL BOOKS.

Mr. H. C. Porter's translation of Strasburger's Text-Book of Botany[1] was undertaken with the consent of both authors and publishers from the second revised German edition. The translator has aimed to adhere closely to the German original, making neither alterations nor omissions; to avoid any unnecessary introduction of new terms, adopting as far as consistent with the German the existing terminology, and conforming as far as possible to the usage of previous translations in rendering technical words of a purely German signification. For such departures as he may make from these rules he offers satisfactory explanations. The names of the authors, all of the University of Bonn, and their high reputation in their several fields of botanical study, attest the quality of the book, and this testimony is fortified by the fact that it was necessary to issue a second edition within a year after its first appearance. In the introduction the subjects of the imperceptible difference in the fundamentals between animal and vsgetable life, of evolution, of the distinction between living organs and lifeless bodies manifested by the quality of irritability in the former, and of spontaneous generation disproved by the researches of Schwann and Pasteur, are touched upon. Botany is divided into a general and a special part. In the general part the structure (morphology) and function (physiology) of plants are considered; in the special part the particular structure and functions of the special orders of plants are discussed. In the former part morphology and physiology are treated separately, in the latter part conjointly. The morphology is treated as external, involving the development of form in the plant kingdom, relations of symmetry, branch systems, the shoot, the root, and the ontogeny of plants; and internal, embracing the histology and anatomy In the special part the theory of evolution is credited with having first afforded a true basis for a natural system of classification, expressive of relationship and family. The system of Alexander Braun, as modified and further perfected by Eichler and others, is followed. This book would ordinarily be characterized as a technical as distinguished from a popular scientific work, for it embodies the fruits of deep research by masters of the science. But it appears to be, for a technical work, remarkably easy reading. This is because of the simple forms of expression preferred by the authors and the translator, and of the pains taken to explain the hard words which are by no means wanting. The publishers promise shortly an edition of the work in two volumes, which will be sold separately, the first volume to contain Strasburger's

  1. A Text-Book of Botany. By Dr. E. Strasburger, Dr. Fritz Noll, Dr. H. Schenk, and Dr. A. F. W. Schitnper. Translated from the German by H. C. Porter. With 594 Illustrations, in part colored. New York: The Macmillan Company. Pp. 632. Price, $1.50.