Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 27.djvu/136

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seeks to determine the final result of religious evolution. However it is to be commended, or however deplored, the advanced mind of this generation is deeply engaged with the most radical religious questions; and it is fortunate, when, as in the present case, the contestants are men of earnestness, sincerity, and reverence, as well as of fearlessness, brilliancy, and power. To the readers of the "Monthly" nothing need be said in regard to the special merits of this controversy, except that they will find the volume convenient from the completeness of the views it presents.

Land-Laws of Mining Districts. By Charles Howard Shinn. Baltimore: N. Murray. Pp. 83. Price, 50 cents.

Mining-Camps. By Charles Howard Shinn. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 316. Price, $2.

These two works present the results of an investigation into the history of mining camps, undertaken with a hope of giving the forms of social organization manifest in the early "districts" of the Sierras, Coast Range, and Rocky Mountains, their proper place in the story of institutional development on American soil. The work first named is one of the "Johns Hopkins University Series of Studies in Historical and Political Science"; and the editor of the series introduces it with the intimation that it is a "natural, though unconscious, continuation of Mr. Johnson's study of 'Rudimentary Society among Boys,'" which we have already noticed, "and that it might be called Rudimentary Society among Men.'" The second work is of larger scope and more fully wrought out. Mr. Shinn has done a good work in elucidating some peculiar phenomena of social and political development. What his essays teach may be illustrated by quoting one of the passages in "Mining Camps": "In every important particular the organizations of the typical mining camps, which we have been considering, offer sharply-outlined contrasts. Camp-law has never been the enemy of time-tried and age-honored judicial system, but its friend and forerunner. Axe of pioneer and pick of miner have leveled the forests, and broken down the ledges of rock, to. clear a place for the stately structures of a later civilization. Rude mountain courts, rude justice of miner-camps, truth reached by short cuts, decisions unclouded by the verbiage of legal lexicons, a rough-hewed, sturdy system that protected property, suppressed crime, prevented anarchy—such were the facts; and on these frontier government rests its claims to recognition as other than mob-law, and better than passionate accident."

"The Jukes": A Study in Crime, Pauperism, Disease, and Heredity. By R. L. Dugdale. Fourth edition. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 121. Price, $1.25.

This book embodies the substance of a famous paper, which, first published in the report of the Prison Association for 1877, has probably done more to promote the investigation of methods for the reform of criminals and the prevention of crime than any other single document of the time. It is, as the editor, Mr. Round, says in the introduction, "known, read, and valued wherever the civilization of the world has advanced far enough to be alarmed at the increase of crime, and to be concerned in reducing the criminal classes." It relates the story of a large family of criminals, prostitutes, and vagrants, which infested a group of counties in New York for two or three generations, all the descendants of a prostitute who was left to go her ways for evil unrestrained by any efforts to reclaim her. A new edition has been demanded in the interest of penal science. The original paper is supplemented with further studies of criminals, and an introduction insisting on the importance of the investigations by Mr. William M. F. Round, Secretary of the National Prison Association.

A Popular Exposition of Electricity. With Sketches of some of its Discoverers. By the Rev. Martin S. Brennan. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 191. Price, 75 cents.

The object of this book is to make all familiar with the essential principles, at least, of the science of electricity; a purpose which none of the learned and excellent treatises devoted to the subject, "but so illustrated with complex and intricate mechanical diagrams as to frighten away the timid and uninitiated," seem adapted to