Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/143

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133
LITERARY NOTICES.

lin; The Philosophy of Crime, by William T. Harris; Criminal Anthropology, by Hamilton D. Wey; New York's Prison Laws, by Eugene Smith; Prison Labor Systems; and The Elmira Reformatory of To-day. The mechanical work upon the publication, including the etching of the cover, has been done by inmates of the reformatory.

The Report on the Coal Measures of the Plateau Region of Alabama, made to the State Geologist by Mr. Henry McCalley, treats of all the coal measures of the plateau region, except those that were included in the Report of the Warrior Coal-field, published in 1886; and also speaks of the coal measures of St. Clair and Shelby Counties, whose measures are principally of plateau strata, and have not been considered as a whole in any previous report. A general description of the plateau region is given in the introduction; and notes and a short report by General A. M. Gibson are added on the Coal Measures of Blount and Berry Mountains. Some parts of this plateau region are likely to prove important coal areas. A map of the coal-fields and two geological sections are inserted in the volume.

The Report of S. P. Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, for the year ending with June, 1891, includes the work placed under its charge by Congress in the National Museum, the Bureau of Ethnology, the International Exchanges, the National Zoological Park, and the Astro-Physical Observatory. By saving in other quarters, the Institution has been able to revert in some measure to an early practice of offering aid in original research. It has made grants for work on a universal standard of measure, founded on the wave-length of light; for determinations of the densities of oxygen and hydrogen; for photographs of the moon; and for investigations upon chemical compounds. In the Bureau of Ethnology efforts are made to secure records of Indian languages before they pass away.

A Catalogue of Prehistoric Works East of the Rocky Mountains, preliminary to a complete and thorough catalogue to be made as soon as the work can be accomplished, has been prepared by Dr. Cyrus Thomas, and is published by the Bureau of Ethnology. It contains lists of all the works within the territory described, of which mention has been found in any books or reports, as accurately located and described as the accounts given in the original or other best authorities will permit. The notices are perhaps often indefinite and frequently incorrect, on account of defects in these original authorities; but it is hoped that their appearance in the present shape will lead to more careful examination and to the preparation of the complete catalogue which it is hoped to make. The list is accompanied by a map of the distribution of mounds in the United States, and by State maps showing the location of prehistoric works.

The Report of the Botanical Department of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, by Byron D. Halsted, botanist, is one of the most valuable publications that have yet issued from the experiment stations. A considerable part of the report is devoted to the record of the study of fungus forms injurious to crops, made during a season in which fungoid growths were very prevalent including cranberry scald, sweet-potato rots, etc. The causes of the failure of the peach crop in 1890 are investigated. Considerable space is devoted to the account of the work done on the weeds of the State, including a listing of them with botanical and local names, estimates by different observers of their relative degrees of noxiousness, and twenty-four page plates of the worst weeds.

In a Doctor's Thesis on The Right of the State to Be, an attempt is made by Prof. F. M. Taylor to determine the ultimate human prerogative on which government rests. The author assumes that most previous efforts to answer the question presented in the title have referred to incidentals and have not been sufficiently directed to the main question. He seeks the solution of this. First, he maintains the reality of the problem and defines its nature; next he reviews previous theories, and points out their defects; and, finally, he explains and defends his own theory. This theory bases the right on the prerogative which is assumed to belong to every person as such to rule, or to interfere coercively with the liberty of other persons in order to maintain his version of the jural ideal. Government then becomes the collective exercise by the community of