Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/436

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ress during imprisonment, and their conditions, socially and industrially, after liberation.

In a volume of 194 pages Mr. Nathan Cree contributes a useful argument for Direct Legislation by the People, which is the title of his work. He does not claim that such a form of government would be a "remedy for all the political ills of society," but he points to many errors in the existing systems, and argues that at least an epoch of direct legislation would tend to better and more economic government. He says that "popular power in this country stands in no need of a vindication, either of its rightfulness or practicability," but he adds that the "power-holders do not govern directly, although elected by a widely extended suffrage."

The author charges that the electoral bodies, which are the ultimate power in the United States, "delegate their powers to agents," and he seeks to prove that a modification of the present system combined with the primitive direct government would not alone be better and more interesting, but that the adoption of it is within the natural order of modern political evolution. (A. C. McClurg k Co., Chicago. Price, 75 cents.)

Bulletin No. 7 (Part I) of the Geological and Natural History Survey, Minnesota, N. H. Winchell, State Geologist, consists of a descriptive and popular account of the features and habits of the Mammals of Minnesota, by O. L. Herrick. In consequence of the delay in the publication of the reports, which were handed over in 1885, this portion of the work contains only the descriptive and popular portion of the survey. The scientific part, which embraces the materials collected on the anatomy, especially the myology and osteology of the Minnesota mammals, will form the second part. Part I is clearly written, and will be welcomed by all lovers of natural history. It is illustrated with twenty-three figures and seven plates, and is published by Harrison & Smith, State Printers, Minneapolis.

In a volume of 128 pages, Elizabeth E. Evans offers to the public a peculiar theological discussion, which she describes as "a condensed statement of the results of scientific research and philosophical critcism, as applied to the history of religion." In her argument the authoress assails every Christian belief, and in the preface she declares that "all creeds are alike false." She scoffs at the idea of a Trinity as accepted by all Christians; says that Jesus was a myth or simply a pure man and a fanatic; and that "the idea of a God originated from the fears of man in the presence of the natural forces which he is unable to control." She seems to lean toward the doctrine of metempsychosis; and, while scoring the Roman Catholics and Protestants, pays tribute to the purity of intention of the Buddhist faith. (New York: Commonwealth Company.)

J. E. Usher, M. D., has given to the world an interesting and useful treatise on Alcoholism and its Treatment. Comparing the disease with insanity, he says that although the latter is a deplorable thing in any form, "no phase of mental breakdown is more far-reaching in its influence" than alcoholism. Tracing the disease through its "inherited" and "acquired" forms, he brings his reader to the fourth chapter, which is entitled Insanity and Alcoholism. Here, in four pages, he lays bare, with admirable skill, the awful resultant danger to chronic drunkards from the condition of insanity into which their overindulgence has plunged or may at any moment plunge them.

The chapters on Alcoholic Trance and Crime and Cerebral Automatism or Trance are the most interesting parts of the work. They are devoted to the examinations of cases of murder, forgery, manslaughter, robbery etc., committed while the automatic action of the brain continues from the action of alcohol. The last two chapters are devoted to the best means of treating those suffering from alcoholism, embracing a number of useful prescriptions as well as a ringing denunciation of all patent nostrums sold for this purpose. (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1892. Pp. 151. Price, $1.25.)

In a book of 184 pages, Mr. Arthur Willink, in order that a more easily comprehensive idea of God—whom he designates the Unseen—may be attained, says that his object is to submit as a proposition that "it is in higher space that we are to look for the understanding of the unseen." He carries us by a rather difficult but ingenious road through what he supposes to be the first, second, and third directions or dimensions of space to the "fourth dimension" or "high-