Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/577

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LITERARY NOTICES.

cluding the discovery of the royal mummies near Thebes, and the excavations of M. Naville at Pithom-Succoth, or the latest that had been done till excavations were begun at Zoan last March. Dr. Osborn's style is not always happy, and his references to the work of later investigators are frequently not so clear as the reader would desire them to be.

Bilateral Asymmetry of Function. By G. Stanley Hall and E. M. Hartwell. Pp. 17.

The subject relates to supposed differences, essential or casual, in the power of similar organs on the different sides of the body; as, between the right and left eyes, ears, arms, or legs, or the right and left sides of internal organs. Numerous observations by different investigators are noticed briefly, and then the present authors describe their own experiments. From them they draw the conclusions that every deviation from perfect bilateral symmetry of form or function is to be accounted for without recourse to occult causes of any sort; that the key to the entire bilateral problem which shall reveal a common principle for all the various paired organs is to be sought in the study of bilateral muscle tension, the only act of will; and that the solution of this problem, when reached, will probably shed light on the nature of consciousness.

The Railroad as an Element in Education. An Address before the State Teachers' Association of Texas. By Professor Alexander Hogg, M. A. Louisville: Printed for the Author.

This brief pamphlet is filled with a great deal of interesting railroad information, its predominant idea being that railroads are a great factor of civilization, and help on the work of general amelioration and improvement in many ways. There is a brief sketch of the course of inventions that prepared for railroad constructions, some examination of the public influence of transcontinental railway systems, some defense of railroads against charges of monopoly, some account of the great "breakwaters" of the world, and finally an argument in favor of the construction of such a work at Galveston, in Texas, that shall give it deeper water and improve it as a seaport.

A Manual of Psychological Medicine and Allied Nervous Diseases. By Edward C. Mann. With Phototype Plates and other Illustrations. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son &; Co. Pp. 699. Price, $5.

This comprehensive treatise aims to "present the subject of insanity and allied nervous diseases in a scientific, clinical, and forensic light, and in so concise a form as to be available for the student and general practitioner." It is therefore addressed to the profession as a manual of medical practice, and a systematic text-book of medical education. Physicians must, therefore, be the best judges of its adaptation to their wants, but the work bears evidence throughout of matured knowledge, wide experience, and assiduous, painstaking labor. But while the work is thus designed for the uses of medical men, such is the profound interest and great importance of the questions which it discusses, that in many aspects it will be found instructive and valuable to general readers who are concerned with the great question of the conditions and causes of insanity, and the hygienic precautions that are needed for the maintenance of soundness and integrity of mind. Dr. Mann is evidently no extremist and no alarmist, but he recognizes that mental derangement in various forms is undoubtedly on the increase, and that its extension can be checked only by the widest diffusion of knowledge upon the subject, and some corresponding improvement in those habits of life which are promotive of mental deterioration. Dr. Mann emphasizes in his preface a most important fact, which is too generally overlooked, when he points out the long interval of time that may elapse between the slight initial perversions of cerebral activity and the distant consequences that often result from them. It is too commonly thought that if pupils leave school without becoming lunatics outright, all the talk about mental over-exertion amounts to nothing, yet we have here to do with causes and effects that work slowly, and require time for their full disclosure. Dr. Mann says:

A very important point relating to the prevention of mental disorders and the modern nervous diseases is, that the growth of mental function is as gradual as that of bodily power, and that brain-tissue degenerations and mental diseases may be