Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/140

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Facts and Fictions of Mental Healing. By Charles M. Barrows. Boston: II. II. Carter & Karrick Pp. 248. Price, $1.25.

It is a friendly hand which has written these chapters. According to Mr. Barrows's preface, he "is convinced, by the results of many careful tests, that if the mental treatment of disease be not all that its most sanguine advocates picture it, it is a powerful therapeutic agent when skillfully used, and based on a philosophy which has done the world incalculable good." In the opening chapters the author gives as clear an account as could be expected of the somewhat confused and contradictory ideal philosophy and pantheistic creeds of the mental healers, little if any of which appears to be essential to mental healing; "indeed, a majority of the cures of this character," says Mr. Barrows, "have been wrought by persons utterly ignorant of, or disbelievers in, the doctrines of modern psychopathy." He describes a number of cures without medicine effected by regular physicians either by acting on the mind of the patient, or by resigning him to the recuperative power of a strong constitution. None of the cases of relapse or death under mental treatment which have been reported are alluded to by Mr. Barrows, although he mentions that one of the great lights of "Christian science" was recently prostrated with nervous exhaustion, and obliged to seek medical aid; and that another, who had become so enthusiastic as to declare that he could never be sick, died within a year of hæmorrhage of the lungs. The concluding chapters consist of more or less relevant matter drawn from Buddhism, Brahmanism, and the philosophy of Emerson.

Palæolitic Man in Northwest Middlesex By John Allen Brown. Illustrated London: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 227.

This contribution to the study of prehistoric man in Britain embodies the substance of papers read before various scientific societies, describing investigations by the author in the northwestern portion of the county which environs London north of the Thames. The river-deposits here run back for about three miles, rising in terraces to more than one hundred and forty feet above the present level of the stream. The author describes and figures a large number of worked flints from the gravels of various levels, as well as similar implements from other sources. He reviews the customs of savage tribes in various parts of the world, who still use stone implements, and from this material constructs a picture of Paleolithic life in Middlesex. As to the antiquity of man in Britain, he concludes that the river-drift hunter of the Thames Valley, entering the British Isles at least as early as the first Continental period, saw the last submergence of the greater part of the British Isles beneath the sea, survived the Glacial period which followed the re-emergence of the land, and, as the glaciers retreated, reoccupied that portion of the country from which the sea and the ice had driven him.

Gilman's Historical Readers. Nos. 1, 2, and 3. By Arthur Gilman. Chicago: The Interstate Publishing Company.

The making of books for young persons is not always an easy matter, and this is conspicuously the case with historical books. Most of the short and concise histories intended for school use are so condensed in matter, so filled with details and with useless names and dates, that they but poorly fulfill the purpose for which they are written. The true end to be aimed at in teaching history to the young is to give them a clear and correct outline view of the history of the leading nations, and impress this view as vividly as possible upon their minds. But too often the books they have to study are so overloaded with detail that the outlines of the whole are lost in the multiplicity of the parts; and thus the attention and the memory are heavily taxed without any corresponding benefit.

The books now before us are not liable to this objection. Mr. Gilman seems to have in the main an excellent idea of what matter and how much should be introduced into a school-book on history. Very few of his chapters are crowded with detail, and for such cases of the kind as do occur there is generally some special reason. The three volumes on American history form a graded series, the first being the simplest and the last the most difficult. The first volume is devoted to the discovery of the