Popular Science Monthly/Volume 32/December 1887/Literary Notices
|←Editor's Table||Popular Science Monthly Volume 32 December 1887 (1887)
The Elements of Political Economy, with some Applications to Questions of the Day. By J. Laurence Laughlin. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1887. Price, $1.40.
If the numerous school-books that appear in our time were all they ought to be, the education of the young, so far as books can aid it, would be amply provided for, but unfortunately such is not the case. In the mathematical and physical sciences, indeed, and in classical literature, there are many good text-books; but in the sciences that treat of mind and society the works of real merit are comparatively few. The reason of this scarcity is twofold: in the first place, these sciences are not so well developed as physics and mathematics and classical philology, and there is less agreement about the method of studying them — the mutual opposition of the philosophical and historical schools being specially conspicuous; and, secondly, the close connection of the mental and social sciences with the great disputed questions of politics and religion render the pure scientific treatment of them difficult. Hence we have at present but few satisfactory treatises on political, economical, or ethical subjects.
This work by Professor Laughlin, however, is distinctly superior to most of the current writings on economical themes, and seems to be well adapted to educational use. It makes no pretension to originality in doctrine or theory; but undertakes to give the student, in as simple a form as possible, the leading thoughts and conclusions of the great economic writers. The author remarks in his preface that "the public questions of our day in the United States are deeply affected by economic considerations, and yet the training of mind adequate for an intelligent decision upon economic problems has been very slight." Yet he thinks that "public questions and the economic principles which underlie them can, if properly presented, be understood by the average American youth whose education is restricted to the high-school or the academy." For such students, then, and with such an aim, Professor Laughlin has written, and with much success. His arrangement is good, his style clear, and his views, in the main, such as are best established. He has avoided controversy, so far as possible, evidently thinking it unsuitable to an elementary work. If we were to offer a criticism on the author's method, we should say that he had confined himself a little too strictly to the deductive or philosophical method of the English writers, with too little attention to the historical and comparative method; for, though we have no faith in the historical method as a substitute for the other, it nevertheless has its uses.
Professor Laughlin's book is divided into two parts: the first, treating of the principles of the science; the second, of their application to some of the political and industrial problems of the day. In an introductory chapter he distinguishes the subject of the science from those of ethics, politics, and other branches of science or practice v,ith which it is liable to be confounded, and lays down the principle that "political econ- omy deals only with questions connected with wealth and with the satisfaction of ma- terial wants." It "does not say what is right or wrong, or how a people should be governed; but it attempts to show what the rules are that control the production, exchange, and distribution of all the wealth which we see in the wonderful industrial system about us." It is refreshing, -amid all the confusion that so widely prevails between economical and ethical truth, to find an economist with so clear a grasp of his subject. He distinguishes between "immaterial wealth," such as a speech or a song, and "material wealth," which has a permanent character; and defines mate- rial wealth as "some transferable thing for the enjoyment of which we are willing to undergo a sacrifice." He gives the usual account of the agents of production, and then passes to the subject of exchange. He defines value as ratio of exchange, and from another point of view as purchasing power. Cost of production beholds to consist in the sacrifices made by the difi'erent classes en- gaged in production; and on this subject he is careful to avoid the mistake made by the earlier writers of considering economic phenomena too much from the standpoint of the capitalist. On the subject of de- mand and supply, he adopts in the main the views of Cairnes, as he also does in re- gard to the wages of different classes of laborers. On the subject of distribution, now so hotly debated, Professor Laughlin takes conservative ground, holding that "the proportional shares of labor and capital out of the product will depend upon the rela- tive scarcity and abundance of labor and capital," and that "the productiveness of a country's industries determines whether the general level of the wages shall be high or low." He takes conservative ground, also, in regard to labor- unions, approving them in some respects, and disapproving them in others; and he devotes a special chapter to "the industrial manager," showing the im- portant place which he holds in the indus- trial system of the present day.
In treating of the applications of eco- nomic principles, the author discusses so-
cialism, free trade, and protection, money questions, the labor problem, and other top- ics, indicating briefly the bearing on each of the doctrines advanced in the earlier portion of his work. On the subject of the tariff he gives the arguments on both sides, but is himself evidently a believer in free trade. In regard to bimetallism he reiterates the views that he had already more elaborately stated in a separate work. He opposes sociaUsm, of course, and teaches that the welfare of the laboring-classes can only be secured by their own moral and in- tellectual advancement. He strongly depre- cates state interference, and favors co-op- eration in all its forms.
The book is an excellent elementary pres- entation of a difiicult subject of growing interest and importance, and as such it de- serves a place in both public and private schools.
History of the Pacific States of North America. By Hubert Howe Bancroft. Vol. XXXI. Popular Tribunals. Vol. I. San Francisco: The History Com- pany. Pp. 749. Price, $5. This volume stands apart from the other members of Mr. Bancroft's historical series. It has a character of its own, as do the events to which it relates. They have hard- ly a parallel in history. The volume par- ticularly relates to those voluntary courts or self-organized associations of citizens for the administration of justice and the aveng- ing of wrongs which, in some of their forms, have marked the society of the frontiers during the whole of the history of the set- tlement of our country; which were preva- lent throughout California in the early days of the American settlement; and wliich found their most remarkable exemplifica- tion in the vigilance committees of San Francisco. Mr. Bancroft endeavors to draw a distinction between the vigilance move- ment in California and all other exhibi- tions of popular justice which are record- ed. He does not find anything exactly like it in the public uprisings of which ancient and modem history furnish exam- ples; and to his view it was very widely different from the mob law, lynch law, regu- lators' law, etc., with which it is too easy to associate it in classification. "In some re- spects," he says, "they are diametrically opposed in principle and in purpose. The vigilance committee is not a mob; it is to a mob as revolution is to rebellion, the name being somewhat according to its strength. Neither is a tumultuous rabble a vigilance committee. Indeed, prominent among its other functions is that of holding brute force and vulgar sentiment in wholesome fear." It is founded on a principle, and this is that "the people, or a majority of them, possess the right, nay, that it is their bound- en duty, to hold perpetual vigil in all mat- ters relating to their government, to guard their laws with circumspection, and sleep- lessly to watch their servants chosen to exe- cute them. Yet more is implied. Possess- ing this right, and acknowledging the obli- gation, it is their further right and duty, whenever they see the laws which they have made trampled upon, distorted, or prosti- tuted, to rise in their sovereign privilege, remove such unfaithful servants, lawfully if possible, arbitrarily if necessary. . . . When law fails—that is to say, when a power rises in society antagonistic at once to statutory law and to the will of the people—the peo- ple must crush the enemy of their law or be crushed by it. A true vigilance commit- tee is the expression of power on the part of the people in the absence or impotence of law." . . . As defined in this book, "the principle of vigilance takes its place above formulated law, which is its creature, and is directly antagonistic to the mobile spirit which springs from passion and contempt- uously regards all law save the law of re- venge." As may be inferred from these quotations, 3Ir. Bancroft is rather warmly in favor of California "vigilance," and ap- preciates highly the fruits which San Fran- cisco has reaped from the exercise of it. He has obtained the naaterials for the his- torical record of its operations from first hands. Besides printed books, manuscripts, and the several journals of the period advo- cating both sides of the question, he se- cured all the archives of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance of 1851, and had free access to the voluminous records and documents of the great committee of 1856. Further than these, he personally questioned the actors in the scenes who were living, and, after a little difficulty in overcoming the reserves of some of them, obtained such information as they could give him. The questioning, he thinks, was done at a most opportune time. "Ten years earlier, the actors in these abnormal events would, on no account, have divulged their secrets; ten years later, many of them will have passed away, and the opportunity be forever lost for obtaining information which they alone can give." The story is of the most fasci- nating character; and did not require, to intensify its interest—which is marred rath- er than heightened by it—the sensational style, hardly befitting a sober history, which the narrator has employed in some parts of his account. About four hundred pages of the volume are taken up with the history of the San Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1851; the rest is devoted to the opera- tions of the "country committees of vigi- lance," and of popular tribunals in other States and Territories of the West, British Columbia, and Alaska.
English History from Contemporaut Writers. Edw.\rd III and his Wars. Arranged and edited by W. J. Ashley. The Misrule of Henry III. Selected and arranged by Rev. W. H. Hctton. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1887.
The study of history in the usual way, though it gives a comprehensive view of the subject in the language of our own time, has nevertheless its drawbacks. However scientific the historian's work may be, and however entertaining his story, it does not give us that vivid and characteristic view of an age that we get from the contemporary writers. A consciousness of this fact has led to the preparation of this series of vol- umes on the history of England. They consist entirely of extracts from writers who lived in the times treated, with only such brief notes and introductions as are necessary to explain their significance and connection. The authors from which the compilation is made are of course the me- diaeval chroniclers, such as Froissart, Mat- thew of Paris, and others, while laws and other public documents are cited as occa- sion requires. The volumes now before us treat of the thirteenth and fourteenth cent- uries, and others are projected covering the whole period of mediaeval and Renaissance history. The series is under the editorship of Mr, F. York Powell, the different vol- umes being prepared by various writers.
The volume on Edward III is necessa- rily very much occupied with the wars with France and Scotland, yet the social and re- ligious affairs of the country are not neg- lected, and in the "Misrule of Henry III" these subjects are the principal ones. This latter volume exhibits in a striking manner the tyranny and extortions of the Papacy during the thirteenth century, while the Statute of Provisos, the Statute of Praemu- nire, and other measures of Edward Ill's reign, illustrate the means taken to counter- act the evil. The fearful epidemic of the black-death and its effects claim attention, and are briefly but vividly related. One of the most striking effects of this plague was a great rise in wages, owing to the reduction in the number of laborers, and the chroni- clers relate the attempts that were made by law to keep wages down. Thus, we read that "the king sent proclamation into all the counties that reapers and other labor- ers should not take more than they had been accustomed to take, under the penalty appointed by statute. But the laborers were so lifted up and obstinate that they would not listen to the king's command, but if any one wished to have them he had to give them what they wanted, and either lose his fruit and crops, or satisfy the lofty and covetous wishes of the workmen." These passages are curious reading now, as are also those denouncing the taking of intci'- est; but they show in clear light the su- premacy of natural law.
Such works as these can not supply the place of the ordinary historical treatises, since they do not furnish a complete and con- nected view of the periods to which they relate. But they are very interesting and valuable, as giving what may be called an interior view of the times and subjects of which they treat; and students of history will look with interest for the remaining volumes of this series.
Principles of Art. By John C. Van Dyke.
New York: Fords, Howard & Hulbert,
This book is an elementary treatise on the history and theory of art. It makes no pretension to originality or to scientific pro- fundity, but is intended for the mass of peo-
ple that are interested in the subject. The discussion chiefly relates to the arts of form and color—architecture, painting, and sculpt- ure; the other fine arts, such as music and poetry, being introduced only for purposes of illustration. The book is divided into two parts, the first of which deals with the his- tory of art, the second with its philosophy. The author's views of the development of art are substantially those generally held by writers of the historical school. He regards the art of a nation as the product of its civilization, and thinks that "nothing can record so truly the nature of a people or a country's civilization as its art" (page 13). lie holds that "art is what its age and its environment make it" (page 173). "The artist lives in his own time, and seldom ahead of or behind it. If he is striving to- ward the unattainable of the future, there is some impulse of his age that urges him on. If he goes back to imitate an art of the past, again some tendency of his time promotes it." Whichever way he turns, and whatever he may do, the circumstances of his surroundings rule him unconsciously " (page 13). These extracts show the author's views of artistic development; and the his- torical part of his work is an attempt to ap- ply these principles to the facts of art-his- tory. Several pages are devoted to the the- ory of art, but we have no space to discuss or even to explain the author's views. As regards the art of the present day, he thinks its leading characteristic is the expression of individual tastes, a view which he illustrates by numerous examples.
The Essentials of Perspective, with Il- lustrations BY the Author. By L. W.Miller. New York: Charles Scrib- ner's Sons. Pp. 107. Price, $1.50.
The author calls this little book " The Essentials of Perspective," because it seems to him that it contains as much information about the science of which it treats as the artist or the draughtsman ordinarily has oc- casion to make use of. He has aimed to produce a work exhaustive enough to pre- sent the subject adequately, and yet be as free as possible from the technical difficul- ties which the unscientific mind will en- counter in the profounder treatises. Some unessential things are left out, in the effort to make clear the really important truth. The illustrations are given with the aim to connect the study with the work of the artist, rather than for use as diagrams, by which to demonstrate abstractions; and they are of precisely the same character as those which the author has used for many years in teaching perspective from the black- board. The successive chapters of the book treat of "First Principles," "The Horizon," "Measurement by Means of Parallels," "Of Diagonals" and "Of Triangles," "The Per- spective of Curves," "Methods," "Shad- ows," "Reflections," and "Cylindrical, Curvilinear, or Panoramic Perspective."
Ikstitctes of General History. By E. Benjamin Andrews. Boston: iSilver, Rogers & Co. 1887. %2.
This is a rather peculiar book. It is by no means an elementary work; on the con- trary, a student just beginning the study of history, would not be able to understand it, so much is taken in it for granted. But by one who already has a knowledge of the outlines of history it will be found both interesting and instructive. It is rather a series of historical essays than a regular history, and, while making no pretensions to originality, it presents in a brief form the conclusions of the leading writers on most of the main events of the past and the contributions of the various nations to the civilization of the world. English and American history are neglected on the ground that these subjects are taught in our schools by themselves. The book is broken up into short paragraphs, each fol- lowed by a mass of notes treating matters of a more specific character than those mentioned in the text. ,
Professor Andrews opens his work with a brief discussion of the nature and meth- i od of history, and considers the question whether history is a science. To this he gives an affirmative answer, quoting Mill's remark that "any facts are fitted in them- selves to be a subject of science which fol- low one another according to constant laws, although those laws may not have been dis- covered nor even be discoverable by our ex- isting resources." He regards historical science, however, as in an inchoate condition, and its laws as but very partially known; and he defines it as "the science of human- ity viewed upon its spiritual side, and in course of evolution." Having thus stated his conception of history and the method of studying it. Professor Andrews proceeds to consider first the character of the civiliza- tion of the old Eastern nations, and then that of Greece and Rome. The classical period receives but scant treatment, appar- ently because it is usually taught in the schools as a separate study. Then, having sketched the character of the Roman Em- pire and Church, he takes up the history of modern Continental Europe, to which the greater part of the volume is devoted. This portion of the work is fuller of detail than the earlier parts, and gives a good though very condensed outline of feudal- I ism, the Renaissance and the Reformation, \ the Thirty Years' War, the French Revolu- tion, and the rise of the new German Empire. Each chapter is preceded by a bibliography of the subject of which it treats, so that the real student of history will know where to go for fuller information. The utility of , such a book for educational purposes must necessarily be determined by experience; but to general readers it will be of value both for reading and for reference.
Industrial Education. A Guide to Man- ual Training. By Samuel G. Love. New York: E. L. Kellogg & Co. 1887. 81.75.
The subject treated in this volume is one of great and increasing importance. The keen competition of industrial life, and the greater skill now demanded of manual laborers, as compared with those of former times, make it necessary for all who can to learn some trade or profession; while at the same time the want of any regular sys- tem of industrial training, and the unwilling- ness of the labor unions to permit the tak- ing of apprentices, render it often difficult for a young man to learn the trade to which he inclines. Under these circumstances it has been proposed to establish schools of industry for the express purpose of teach- ing trades, and also to introduce some sys- tem of manual training into the public schools. Special industrial schools have been established in some cases, and have proved successful; but how far industrial work can be advantageously taught in the public schools is yet an unsolved problem. Any book, therefore, giving an account of experiments in this direction will be wel- comed by all persons interested in the sub- ject; and such a book we have now before us. The author, who has been for some years superintendent of public schools in James- town, New York, in it gives an account of his introduction of manual training there, together with a detailed exposition of the system of training itself. Mr. Love is, of course, an enthusiastic advocate of industrial training, and a firm believer in its great use- fulness. He holds that "it ranks in impor- tance with the study of numbers or language, in the benefits it confers on its recipients." He notes the fact that some children dislike books, while they are fond of activity; and such children, he says, are made more in- terested in their school-work by the intro- duction of manual exercises. The system was introduced into the Jamestown schools on a small scale in 1874, and has been largely extended since, with the approval of the school authorities and of the people of the town.
The greater part of Mr. Love's volume is devoted to an exposition of the exercises that are practiced in the Jamestown schools, the subject being illustrated by a great number of diagrams. In the lowev grades the exercises are the same for both boys and girls, and are of a very simple charac- ter, such as building with blocks, slat-plait- ing, paper-folding, mat -weaving, etc. In the grammar and high schools they consist of carpenter-work for the boys, sewing and cooking for the girls, and printing for both sexes. And here we see one of the difficul- ties that the system has to contend with— that of introducing a suflBciently diversified industry. Every girl should know some- thing of cocking and sewing, though these things ought to be taught her at home; but very few boys can be either carpenters or printers, and, though a little knowledge of carpenter-work may be useful in some other Industrie?, this can hardly be said of print- ing. More boys will become farmers than anything else, and it is hard to see how farming or any branch of it can be taught in the public schools. We make these remarks not by way of criticism, but to point out one of the difficulties attending the intro- duction of manual training. Meanwhile, a
work like this that shows experimentally how to overcome any of those difficulties will be welcomed by all who are interested in the subject.
A History of the Xew York Academy of Sciences (formerly the Lyceum of Natu- ral History). By Herman Le Roy Fair- child, Recording Secretary. New York: Published by the author. 1887.
This book owes its origin to a vote of the Academy, passed in June, 1886, author- izing and requesting the secretary to pre- pare such a manual. It was intended at first to make a short paper that might be included in a volume of the Academy's "Transactions"; but the author found an unexpected amount of material, and so ex- panded his essay to a volume of two hun- dred pages. The work has been approved by the Council of the Academy, and is now published in a limited edition of five hun- dred copies. It gives an interesting ac- count of the origin of the society, which oc- curred in February, 1817, though the Ly- ceum, as it was then called, was not char- tered until the next year. A list of the original members is given, and also a list cf the present members. The progress of the society is duly recorded, separate chapters being given to the subjects of the library, collections, and publications, and biogra- phies are given of several of the leading members. The author remarks that "the resident membership of the society has never been large," a fact which he attributes to the absorption of the people of the city in commercial affairs, and their consequent inattention to pure science. It is gratify- ing to learn, however, that the number of members at the present time is larger than ever before, and there is reason to hope that the American people will ere long give more earnest attention to science. The book is well printed, and will be welcome to all members and friends of the Academy.
BoDYKE: A Chapter in the History of Irish Landlordism. By Henry Norman. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1887.
This work is an account of the eviction of several families of Irish tenants at Bo- dyke for non-payment of rent. The author was an eye and ear witness of much that he records, and seems to have taken considerable pains in studying up the facts. The greater part of the book consists of dis- patches sent to the "Pall Mall Gazette," and published in that and several other pa- pers; but sorae of the chapters are now published for the first time.
The Effects of Beer upon those who MAKE AND DUiN'K IT; Real and Imagi- nary Effects of Intemperance; The Sys- tem of Higli Licenses; Liquor Laws of the United States; Colonial Liquor Laws; Thoughts on International Tem- perance Meeting at Antwerp, 1885; So- lution of the Temperance Problem pro- posed by the Government of Switzer- land; and Alleged Adulterations of Malt Liquors. By G. Thomann. Twenty"- SEVENTH Brewers' Convention, held at Baltixiore, 1887. New York: United States Brewers' Association, lS84-'87.
New York State Board of Health Re- ports ON Examinations of Beers. New York: The State, 1886.
The pamphlets named at the head of this article are issued by the Brewers' As- sociation, with the declared purpose of pro- moting temperance by substituting the use of beer for spirituous liquors. The Asso- ciation has a literary bureau, which is en- gaged in disseminating the doctrine, held by many other people besides brewers, that the best way to promote temperance is to extend the use of the weaker liquors and restrict that of the stronger ones. Accord- ingly, it advocates high taxes on distilled liquors, and the removal of the taxes now imposed upon ale and beer. The various pamphlets before us arc mostly prepared by Mr. Thomann, the manager of the bureau, or under his supervision, and treat of vari- ous aspects of the subject under discussion. Some of them are designed to combat cer- tain assertions and arguments of the pro- hibitionists; othci's are devoted to examin- ing the effects of excise and other laws that have been enacted by different governments in relation to liquors. Those on the liquor laws of this country, contain a large amount of information tending to show that restrictions on the sale of malt liquors lead to a larger consumption of the prod- ucts of the still.
Perhaps the work most important to the brewers' argument is that upon the effects of beer upon those who use it freely. It opens with a quotation from a total-absti-
nence writer, to the effect that beer inevi- tably produces various diseases, disorders of the liver and the kidneys being specially insisted on. Allusion is also made to the fact that one or two life-insurance com- panies had come to the conclusion that insuring the lives of habitual beer-drink- ers was too risky to be advisable. To these facts and assertions, Mr. Thomann replies, first, by citing the opinion of cer- tain physicians to the opposite effect, and then goes on to give some statistics re- lating to the health and longevity of the workmen in the breweries of New York and its vicinity. The brewers of this and the neighboring cities have a benevolent association for assisting sick and disabled workmen, and this association has estab- lished a system of medical supervision and examination which has collected facts re- garding the health of the workmen gener- erally, and the cause of the deaths occur- ring among them. The men have the priv- ilege of drinking without cost all the beer they want, and consume an average of ten pints a day; yet, according to the statis- tics that are given, the death-rate among them is less than that of the generality of city residents as given in the United States census. In reply to the charge often made that beer is adulterated, Mr. Thomann cites the report of the New York State Board of Health to the effect that the four-hundred and seventy-six samples of malt liquors ex- amined by them contained no deleterious ingredient whatever. These pamphlets will be sure to attract the attention of all inter- ested in the subject of temperance, and may lead to a renewed discussion of the whole question of prohibitive and restrictive legis- lation.
Bulletin of the Philosophical Society of WAsniNGTON. Vol. ix, for 1886. Wash- ington, 1887.
At the annual meeting of this society for 1886, papers were presented on a vari- ety of topics, including even a phonetic alphabet. The Charleston earthquake was the subject of a long discussion, and there were also papers on other geological topics. A communication was presented on Lieu- tenant Lockwood's polar expedition, show- ing that that explorer had penetrated to a point nearer the north pole than any one else. There was also a paper, which led to some discussion, on the origin and antiquity of certain social customs, such as bowing and kissing. The communication most in- teresting to the general reader was the address of the president. Dr. John S. Bil- lings, on "Scientific ilen and their Duties." Dr, Billings defines a scientific man as one "who uses scientific method in the work to which he specially devotes himself; who po.ssesses scientific knowledge, not in all departments but in certain special fields." A man of science, on the other hand, is "a man who belongs to science peculiarly and especially, whose chief object in life is sci- entific investigation, whose thoughts and hopes and desires are mainly concentrated upon his research for new knowledge." He does not, however, agree with the view often expressed that the pursuit of knowl- edge for the mere pleasure of knowing is the true business of the man of science. On the contrary, he holds that the duty of men of science is to promote the welfare of mankind, and not merely to gratify person- al curiosity. He discusses the question of the adaptability of government officers for scientific work, approving their employment in such work, though admitting that it has its drawbacks. In closing, he notes the fact that science has not yet furnished a satisfactory basis for morality, and makes some interesting comparisons between the science of the West and the religion and philosophy of the Orient.
Federal Taxes and State Expenses. By William H. Jones. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 18S7. The author of this book is an advocate of a plan that has been advanced for dis- tributing the proceeds of the United States tax on liquors and tobacco among the sev- eral States, the same to be devoted to pay- ing the expenses of the State governments. The United States stand alone among the nations of the earth in having a public revenue so large that they don't know what to do with it; and manifold are the schemes that are brought forward for get- ting rid of it. One of the strangest of these is that which is advocated in tliis volume. Most people would regard it as unconstitutional; at all events, its adoption would be a great departure from the hith-
erto uniform practice of the Government. Mr. Jones, however, is a firm believer in it; and those who wish to know what can be said in its favor will find it in his pages.
The Game of Logic. By Lewis Caruoll. London and Kew York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 96. Price, $1.
With each copy of this book is given an envelope, containing a diagram on a card, with nine counters. The diagram repre- sents in its several divisions different classes of propositions; the counters are intended to mark the particular kinds of proposi- tions, etc., which are to be employed in the problem at the moment seeking solution. The whole is designed to afford a graphic illustration, with tangible symbols, of the logical processes of drawing conclusions from premises. The game requires the counters to be of two colors, say four of red and five of gray, and may be played by one or more players.
Elementart Treatise in Deteuuinaxts. By William G. Peck. New York and Chicago: A. S. Samcs & Co. Pp. 47. Price, 75 cents.
An acquaintance by students with the elementary principles of determinants being demanded by recent advances in mathemat- ics, this book was prepared for the use of a class about to enter upon a course of mod- em co-ordinate geometry. It is a work in pure mathematics, the value of which can be adequately estimated only by experts in that department of the sciences.
Sixth Annual Report of the United States Geological Scevet to the Sec- retary of the Interior: 1884-'80. By J. W. Powell, Director. Washington: Government Printing-OflSce. Pp. 570.
The topographical survey of the United States was extended, during the year cov- ered by this report, over an area of 57,508 square miles, at an average cost of about three dollars per square mile. The results of the survey arc to be embodied in maps, which will be publi.>hed in scales of (ap- proximately) one, two, and four miles to the inch; and is to be engraved in sheets, of which the unit will be one square degree; so that the maps of the different scales will require, respectively, sixteen, four, and one sheets, for each square of one degree of longitude and one of latitude. The organi- zation of the survey includes five paleonto- lof^ical laboratories, in which the fossils col- lected by the geologists in the field are de- scribed and reported upon; a chemical lab- oratory, laboratories of physical research and lithology; a division of mining statis- tics, and a division for preparing illustra- tions for the reports. The general geologi- cal work is organized into divisions of gla- cial; volcanic; Appalachian archaean; Lake Superior archaean; the areal, structural, and historic geology of the Appalachian re- gion; the Yellowstone Park; and two min- ing divisions. The appointments to posi- tions iu the survey are made, on recom- mendation in case of persons of recognized scienti6c reputation in their several fields, and through civil-service examination for younger men. The work of each division of the survey is represented in the special re- port of its chief. A conception of the gen- eral character of the work, as a whole, may be gained from a view of the "ac- companying papers." They are "Mount Taylor and the Zuni Plateau," by Captain Button; "The Driftless Area of the Up- per Mississippi Valley," by T. C. Chamber- lin and Rollin D. Salisbury; "The Quan- titative Determination of Silver by Means of the Microscope," by J. S. Curtis; "Sea- coast Swamps of the Eastern United States," by Professor N. S. Shaler; and "Synop- sis of the Flora of the Laramie Group," by Lester F. Ward.
FOXTT-FIFTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE BOARD
OP Education of the City of New York. New York: Hall of the Board of Education. Pp. 27L
The whole number of children taught during the year, including the "corporate schools," was 304,758, and the average at- tendance, 153,643; while 3,998 teachers were employed. The average cost of in- struction per pupil was $15.49J^ in the primary departments and schools, and $29.80 in the grammar-schools. Corporeal punishment being prohibited, the severest penalty that may be inflicted is suspen- sion or expulsion; and the efficiency of the system is claimed to be apparent in the con- stant diminution of the number of suspen-
sions. While the subject of industrial ed- ucation iu the public schools has been un- der consideration, no conclusion has been reached upon it; but the city superintend- ent has been directed to make investiga- tions upon it for advising the board as to the best action to be taken in the matter. The thoroughness of the drill and discipline of the common schools is exemplified by the fact that it requires but a single day to add, without confusion or disorder, six hun- dred new students to the classes of the col- lege. The question of the introduction of manual training into the schools has en- gaged attention, but it has been deemed wise to proceed slowly. A committee has reported favorably, and advised that it be introduced at an early date. Manual in- struction is, however, already in operation iu the City College, where three workshops have been fitted up, with tools for various kinds of work in wood and metal; practi- cal laboratories in chemistry and physics have been furnished; facilities are given for investigations in natural history; and ad- vanced work is done in industrial drawing.
Johns Hopkins University Studies in His- torical AND Political Science. Fifth Series. Nos. I and II, The City Gov- ernment OF Philadelphia. By E. P. Allinson and Boies Penrose. 50 cents. No. III. The City Government of Bos- ton. By J. M. Bugbee. 25 cents. Bal- timore: The University. 1887.
The best mode of governing cities has been for many years one of the leading questions in American politics; and the problem is by no means solved even yet, notwithstanding the many experiments that have been made. Under such circumstances anything that promises to shed light on the subject, from whatever point of view, is welcome. Among recent historical works on the subject, the publications of the Johns Hopkins University hold a promi- nent place, the fifth series of studies in historical and political science published by that institution being mainly devoted to the history of American cities. The opening numbers of the series, treating of the history of Philadelphia and Boston, named above, and give in a brief form the leading events in the municipal lives of those two cities with clearness and with an eye to practical reform. It is curious to note the great difference between these two municipalities in their origin—Philadelphia having been governed by a close corporation of between twenty and thirty members, while Boston was a pure democracy, which ultimately had over seven thousand voters—and then to trace the steps by which both were converted into cities of the modem type with essentially similar organizations. Various reform measures are described and advocated in both the pamphlets be- fore us; but the perusal of them ha3 only confirmed us in the view we have long held that the evils of city government are due not to defective organization, but to defects in the character of the people, for which the true remedies are educational and moral.
Our thanks are due to Mr. C. C. Vermcule. Topographer of the Geological Survey of New Jersey, for calling our attention to some errors in the summary of the work of the survey which we gave in our October number, and also for furnishing us some facts additional to what are given in the report of the State Geologist. He says: "The notice of the Geological Survey of New Jersey and of the report of the State Geologist for 1886, in the October number, contains several errors which are so important as to call for correction. The topographical survey has been in progress ten years, having been begun in 1877; and will be completed during the present year. The extension of the geodetic survey from the primary chain of triangles, which was thrown across the State about 1840, was begun by Professor E. A. Bowser, Assistant United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, in 1875; and the report in question states that this survey, not the topographical survey, will require two years more for completion. This geodetic work was still further extended by the topographical survey so as to average one station to each twenty-five square miles, the stations being at a distance of five miles apart, and not twenty-five miles, as the notice states.
"The impression is also given that the total area covered by the topographical survey at the date of the report was eighteen hundred and ninety-seven square miles.
whereas the report states that this area was covered during the year 1886, and that the only work remaining to be done is the revision of five hundred and seventy square miles. At the date of this communication this work has all been done, and maps of the whole area of the State, on the scale of one inch to a mile, have been published."
A TEXT-BOOK of Volapük, or an easy method of acquiring the new "Universal" language, prepared by Klas August Linderfelt, Librarian of the Milwaukee Public Library, is in press, and will be published immediately by C. N. Caspar and H. H. Zahn & Co., Milwaukee. It has been prepared for the English-speaking public, on the basis of Alfred Kirchoff's "Hilfsbuch," with a key and dictionaries. It will contain about 120 pages, and will be sold at fifty and seventy-five cents a copy.
A "Hand-book of Volapük" is also announced, by Charles E. Sprauge, of 1271 Broadway, New York. It will contain expositions of the grammatical structure of Volapük; progressive exercises; cautions and hints; grammatical analyses; a vocabulary; and a key to the exercises. It can be used for home study, and presupposes only a knowledge of English grammar. Price, 81.
Greer, Henry, Editor. Eecent Advances in Electricity, etc., 122 E. 2Cth Street, New York. Pp. 55. |1.
Brinton, Daniel G , M. D., Philadelphia. Were the Toltecs an Historic Nationality? Pp. 15.
Primrose. Frank. J., Philadelphia. The Golden Fleece. Monthly. October, 1887. Vol. 1. No. 1. Pp. 56. $2 a year.
Shufeldt. R. W., M. D. A Review of the Muscles used in the Classification of Birds. Pp. 24.
Agricultural College of Michigan. A New Contagious Disease among Horses in America. Pp. 4.
Calcutta Homeopathic Charitable Dispensary. Report for 1886-'87. Calcutta, India. Pp. 11.
Clayton. H. Helm. Etadville, Mass. Loomis's Contributions to Meteorology Reviewed. Pp. 61.
Griswold. W. M., Washington. D. C. The Continuous Index. No. 12. May to August, 1887. Pp. 7. Bimonthly. 5<J cents a year. The Novel List. Pp. 8. l0 cents.
Ynited States Geological Survey. Report on Methods of Business and Work. Pp 112.
Matas, Rudolph. M. D.. New Orleans. Report on Removal of a Subcutaneous Parasite. Pp. 19.
Society for the Promotion of Agricultuial Science. Proceedings of Eighth Annual Meeting. New York city, 18S7. W. R. Lazenby, Secretary, Columbus, Ohio. Drummond, A. T. The Distribution and Physical and Post-Geological Relations of British North American Plants. Pp. 12.
Pammel, L. U., St. Louis. Weeds of Southwestern Wisconsin and Southeastern Minnesota. Pp. 20.
Brown, Henry H. Alatypes: or Stenotypography. A System of Condensed Printing. Battle Creek, Mich. Pp. 92. 4 cents.
State Board of Health, Kentucky. Proceedings, etc., of a Public Health Conference, held in Louisville, May, 1887. Frankfort, Ky. Pp. 136.
Martin. H. Newell, and Brooks, W. K. Studies from the Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University. Vol. IV. No. 2. Baltimore: N. Murray. Pp. 55, with Plates. 75 cents, $5 a volume.
Fernow, B. E. Annual Report of the Division of Forestry, United States Department of Agriculture for 1886. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 72.
Department of Agriculture. Forestry Division: Relation of Railroads to Forest Supplies and Forestry. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 148.
James. U. P., and Joseph S., Oxford, Ohio. On the Mouticuliporoid Corals of the Cincinnati Group. Pp. 26.
American Association for the Advancement of Science. Report of the Committee on Indexing Chemical Literature. Pp. 12. Discussion on the Nicaragua Canal. Pp. 104.
Burrill, T. J., and Earle, F. S. Parasitic Fungi of Illinois. Pp. 45.
Comenius, John Amos. Specimen Pages of the Orbis Pictus. Syracuse, N. Y.: C. W. Bardeen Pp. 14.
Britton, N. L., Editor. Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1884-'85. Pp. 83.
Cope, E. D. Catalogue of Batrachians and Reptiles of Central America and Mexico. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 98.
Fester, Michael, Editor. The Journal of Physiology. Vol. VIII No. 5. Pp. 80, with Plates. $5 a volume.
Lindsay and Blakiston's Physician's Visiting List for 1888. Fifty patients a week. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston. Son & Co. $1.25.
Sutro, Theodore. Report to the Stockholders of the Sutro-Tunnel Company. New York. Pp. 198.
Johnson, Laura Winthrop, Editor. The Longfellow Prose Birthday Book. Boston: Ticknor & Co. Pp. 421. $1.
Mills, Walter Thomas. The Science of Politics. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. Pp. 204. $1.
Grandgent, C. H. Italian Grammar. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co. Pp. 124. 80 cents.
Forest Commission, State of New York. A. L. Train, Secretary. Second Annual Report, 1836. Albany. Pp. 179.
Lincoln, Mrs. D. A. Boston School Kitchen Text-Book. Boston: Roberts Brothers. Pp. 237.
Wooldridge, C. W. The Missing Sense, and the Hidden Things which it might Reveal. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. Pp. 97. 60 cents.
Bugbee, A. G. Exercises in English Syntax. Syracuse, N.Y.: C. W. Bardeen. Pp. 87.
Seifert, Dr. Otto, and Müller. Dr. Friedrich. Manual of Clinical Diagnosis. Translated by W. B. Canfield. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 173.
Astronomical Revelations. New York: Edward Dexter, 1215 Broadway. Pp. 62. *2.
Meissner, A. L.. and Joynes, Edward S. A. German Grammar for Schools and Colleges. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co. Pp. 872.
Peck. William G. Elementary Treatise on Analytical Mechanics. New York: A. S. Barnes & Co. Pp. 319. $1.65.
Peters, Edward D. Modem American Methods of Copper Smelting. New York: Scientific Publishing Company. Pp. 342.
Brinton, Daniel G., M.D. Ancient Nahuatl Poetry. Philadelphia: D. G. Brinton. Pp. 177. $8.
Townshend, John. A Catalogue of Some Books relating to the Disposal of the Bodies and Perpetuating the Memories of the Dead. New York: For private distribution only. Pp. 74.
King. C. W. The Gnostics and Their Remains, Ancient and Mediæval. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 406, with Plates. $6.
Harney, George E., Editor. Cottage Residences. By A. J. Downing, with lists of trees, shrubs, and plants, by H. W. Sargent and Charles Downing. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Pp. 261.
United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries. Report for 1885. Pp. 1099, with 200 Plates.
West, Mary Allen. Childhood: Its Care and Culture. Chicago: Woman's Temperance Publication Association. Pp. 772.
Bancroft, Hubert Howe. Popular Tribunals. Vol. II. San Francisco: The History Company. Pp. 772. $5.
Millenial Dawn. Volume I. The Plan of the Ages. Pittsburg, Pa.: Zion's Watch Tower. Pp. 352.