Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/281

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269
LITERARY NOTICES.

that as a remedial measure, "Congress must therefore enforce. . . the protection of the colored race in the enjoyment of the rights it has conferred upon it in the face of the world."

In the chapter, Intemperance as a Cause, Mr. Boies claims that alcoholic drink is the direct or indirect cause of 75 per cent of all the crimes committed, and of at least 50 per cent of all the sufferings endured on account of poverty, and that "the terrible effects of this curse of humanity are displayed to all the elements of our population, the native, the foreign, the colored, and the urban alike." As one of the remedies against intemperance he suggests the establishment of cheap coffee and tea houses and social halls, after the fashion of those established by the Salvation Army in England; and he adds that "as the way to a man's heart is through his stomach," give him good, cheap food, and his desire for stimulants will cease.

The author entirely disapproves of the present general conditions of the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment, or rather the manner of imprisonment, of criminals. He claims that the penal code should be reorganized, and that more consideration should be shown to "youthful delinquents;" for "county jails are nurseries of crime," and he attributes this to the "wrong management of the prisoners." "No State," he says, "should tolerate" "the infamous jails as they at present exist in county towns." And, "until the whole penal system is reorganized upon the basis of common sense," he offers some excellent suggestions as to the segregation of the different types of prisoners—the one from the other, as well as to how the number of prisons could be and should be lessened.

The work is illustrated with fourteen plates, and is a most valuable addition to the social and economic literature of the nation.

The Great Commanders Series. Edited by General James Grant Wilson. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

Admiral Farragut. By Captain A. T. Mahan, U. S. N. Pp. 333. Price, $1.25.—General Taylor. By General O. O. Howard. Pp. 386. Price, $1.50.—General Jackson. By James Parton. Pp. 332. Price, $1.50.

The issue of what gives promise of being a very attractive series of biographies has been begun under the above general title. The first volume is a life of Admiral Farragut. The career of the most celebrated of America's naval heroes is sufficiently picturesque to warrant its being given the leading place. Captain Mahan's account of it is of a popular character, being neither a monograph on naval warfare on the one hand nor a juvenile story on the other. A few pages suffice to tell of Farragut's parentage, birth, and his meeting with Commander Porter, which determined the course of his life. His boyhood, before the beginning of his naval career, was too brief for much incident, for his warrant as midshipman dates from the middle of his tenth year. The record proceeds with Farragut's first cruise on board the Essex during the War of 1812. A dozen somewhat eventful years followed, bringing the young man to the rank of lieutenant. The years from 1825 to 1860 take comparatively little space, for they represent mostly the routine service of a naval officer in time of peace. Then come his grand achievements in the civil war—the New Orleans expedition, the operations at Vicksburg and Port Hudson, and the entrance of Mobile Bay. These events are described with much detail and vividness, and the several operations are illustrated by charts. A short chapter is devoted to the admiral's five years of life after the war, and a sympathetic estimate of his character closes the volume.

In the Life of Zachary Taylor is given a record rich in those details which often reveal more of the subject's character than his most formal and deliberate acts. We have a glimpse at his early life in the frontier territory near Louisville, Ky., then an account of his first few years in the army, his service in the Northwest Territory during the War of 1812, his campaigns against the Indians in Florida and elsewhere, all leading up to his magnificent achievements in the Mexican War. His part in this contest is described in a sympathetic and picturesque manner. Close upon the heels of it comes his election to the presidency, and a sketch of his administration, of little over a year, brings his life to a close.

In James Parton's biography of Jackson is seen the hand of a master historian. Vigorous, as befits the history of such a strong personality, it is everywhere judicious, faith-