Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/875

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SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE.

had acquired the erect posture, but while in other physical and in mental respects he still did not greatly differ from his nearest of kin. As to the age when this development was taking place, agreement is expressed with Major Powell's remark that the natural history of early man becomes more and more a geological and not merely an anthropological problem. The human varieties are shown to be, like other species, the outcome of their environments, and all sudden changes of those environments are disastrous. In both hemispheres the isocultural bands follow the isothermal lines in all their deflections—temperate regions being favorable, and tropical and severe ones unfavorable, to development. Of the metal ages, the existence of a true copper age has been placed beyond reasonable doubt. The passage from one metal to another was slow and progressive. In art the earliest drawings were natural and vital. The apparent inferiority of the drawings of the metal period to those of the cave dwellers and of the present Bushmen is due to the later art having been reduced to conventions. The development of alphabetical writing from pictographs is briefly sketched. Thus light is sought from all quarters in dealing with the questions of the book, and due weight is given to all available data—physical and mental characters, usages, religion, speech, cultural features, history, and geographical range. The general discussion of these leading principles is brief but clear and comprehensive. The bulk of the volume, following them, is occupied with the detailed and minute studies of the four main groups of mankind—the Negro, Mongol, American Indian, and Caucasic—and their subgroups, the discussion of each being preceded by a conspectus showing its Primeval Home, Present Range, Physical Characters, Mental Characters (Temperament, Speech, Religion, and Culture), and Main Divisions. The text is full, clear, good reading, instructive and suggestive, and in it the author has sought to make the volume a trustworthy book of reference on the multifarious subjects dealt with.


GENERAL NOTICES.

The fact that Mr. Charles A. Dana stood in close personal relations with Secretary Stanton and was officially associated with him during a considerable period of the war for the Union, and was also incidentally brought near Mr. Lincoln, gives whatever he may relate concerning the events of that period somewhat the air of a revelation from the inside. Accordingly, we naturally expect to find things narrated in his Recollections of the Civil War[1] that could not be told as well by any one else. The account given in the book relates to events in which the author was personally concerned. Mr. Dana had been associated with Horace Greeley in the editorial management of the New York Tribune for fifteen years, when, in April, 1862, Mr. Greeley invited him to resign. No reason was given or asked for the separation, and no explicit statement of a reason was needed. Mr. Greeley, having expressed in the beginning his willingness to let the secessionist "wayward-sister" States go in peace, was in favor of peace; Mr. Dana was for vigorous war. A correspondence was opened between him and Mr. Stanton in reference to public matters shortly after Mr. Stanton went into the War Department. Then Mr. Dana was intrusted with special commissions that carried him to the front and brought him in contact with the leader's of the army; and finally, in 1863, was appointed Assistant Secretary of War, an office he filled till the end of the contest. His narrative deals as the story of one having knowledge with questions of policy, with the critical phases of the hard conflict, with the perplexities and anxieties of the men charged with re-


  1. Recollections of the Civil War. With the Leaders at Washington and in the Field in the Sixties. By Charles A. Dana. New York: D. Appleton and Company. Pp. 296. Price, $2.