Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/567

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553
LITERARY NOTICES.

available. Much of the substance of the book is derived from the experience of the author, or has been placed at his disposal by friends who have been engaged in the study of questions connected with life insurance. The special topics of "The Normal Man," "The Duties of the Medical Officer," "Hereditary Influences," "The History of the Individual," "The Insuree's Liability to Disease," and "The Medico-Legal Aspects of Life Insurance," are considered.

Geological Survey of New Jersey. Annual Report of the State Geologist for the Year 1881. Trenton, New Jersey: John L. Murphy. Pp. 308, with Map and Table of Temperatures.

The topographical survey has been pushed, during the year, westward across Morris County and the central part of Warren County, to the Delaware River at Belvidere, the work covering an area of 360 square miles, and making, with what had been previously done, a total area of about 1,260 square miles completed. In the several chapters of the report are considered the encroachments of the sea upon the low-lying lands of the shore, the ores of iron and other metals, and quarries of stone in the State, with statistics; and more than half of the volume is occupied with the consideration of "the climate of New Jersey." An excellent geological map of the State accompanies the report.

From River to Sea. A Tourists' and Miners' Guide from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean, via Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Charles S. Gleed, Editor. Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co. Pp. 240. Price, $1.

This work is designed to supply a want. Its purpose is to give people a good general idea of the vast territory which is tributary to the new line of railway communication (Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fé Railway) between the Missouri River and the Pacific Ocean. It embodies a great deal of information of a kind which the traveler looks for, and will be generally useful to him. The illustrations, which are fairly well but not finely executed, lose a large part of their value by being inserted without reference to the text, and in a not regular order.

Political Institutions: Being Part V of the Principles of Sociology. The Concluding Portion of Volume II. By Herbert Spencer. Pp. 457. Price, $1.50.

The second volume of Spencer's "Principles of Sociology" is devoted to the evolution of I, Ceremonial Institutions, and II, Political Institutions; and, as the first part was issued separately about two years ago, the second part is now also issued separately, for the convenience of those who have procured the other.

Although this work is in its nature historical, yet it is necessary to discriminate between the method of ordinary history and that here adopted. Common history only applies to the later stages of progress, and it would deal with political institutions only in their higher modifications. But the idea of "development" implies that of origin, and carries us back to prehistoric times and primitive conditions. The question is, in what way the earlier or rudimentary forms of political institutions grew up. This problem lies back of that of the ordinary historian, is of a deeper nature, and can only be successfully pursued under the | guidance of some general theory of social genesis which will throw a common light on the development of ceremonial, political, ecclesiastical, and industrial institutions. Such a theory is that of evolution, and accordingly it is here made a part of the exposition of that theory. Of the difficulties of the exposition growing out of the nature of the subject, and the imperfections due to its subordination to a larger scheme of thought, the author says:

The division of the "Principles of Sociology" herewith issued, deals with phenomena of Evolution which are, above all others, obscure and entangled. To discover what truths may be affirmed of political organizations at large is a task beset by difficulties that are at once many and great—difficulties arising from unlikeness of the various human races, from differences among the modes of life entailed by circumstances on the societies formed of them, from the numerous contrasts of sizes and decrees of culture exhibited by such societies, from their perpetual interferences with one another's processes of evolution by means of wars, and from accompanying breakings-up and aggregations in ever-changing ways. Satisfactory achievement of this task would require the labors of a life. Having been able to devote to it but two years, I feel that the re-