Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 8.djvu/387

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
373
LITERARY NOTICES.

exemplifies the close interdependence of the higher and more complex sciences. Those who have been slow to comprehend the alleged important bearing that psychology has upon sociology will see that the two subjects are so inextricably involved—the mental organism and the social organism having been developed together by intimate interaction—that neither can be elucidated in a really scientific way without working out its relations to the other. The article affords an excellent illustration of the fruitfulness of investigation from the genetic point of view.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Currency and Banking. By Bonamy Price, Professor of Political Economy in the University of Oxford. Pp. 176. Price, $1.50. D. Appleton & Co.

The author of this book is not a stranger to the American people. He made a tour of the country a year or two since, and was called upon at various points to express his views on currency and finance, which he did with a bluntness and pungency that made a deep impression upon his hearers, and upon all who read his well-reported addresses. It was felt by many that his views were sound and important, and that it would be an advantage to the country if he would give us a season of lecturing upon the subject. But, as he could not remain, he agreed to do the next best thing, which was, to prepare a little volume, to be published in this country, giving a condensed exposition of his views. This volume is now issued and will be widely read, as well for its vivid and racy controversialism as for its sound and instructive teachings upon the topics discussed. Besides the Appendix, it is divided into three parts: first, "Metallic Currency;" second, "Paper Currency;" and third, "What is a Bank?" Prof Price insists that there is really very little mystery about this subject that is generally regarded as so mysterious; while he admits that there is more error and absurdity and stupid nonsense put forth regarding it than upon almost any other subject of current speculation. A main cause of this, he states to be, the credulous confidence with which the public listens to the outgivings of men whose authority comes not from any intelligent or scientific understanding of the subject, but from the circumstance that they deal in money and have a great deal of it, and much to do with it. But practical familiarity with business operations, he maintains, is very far from conferring insight into the philosophy of such operations. A blockhead may make money, and make a parade of all the technical terms of finance, but know no more of the principles of the subject than the veriest beggar who hardly sees a dollar from one year's end to another. Yet the public pricks up its long ears to listen to the oracular twaddle of brokers, bankers, merchants, and treasury officials, who only confuse and confound the subject with their discordant utterances. Such books as those of Price and Jevons will do much to clear away the fog that has gathered around monetary questions in this country, and they should be widely circulated and carefully read, especially by young men who would prepare themselves to take a useful part in public affairs.

Elements of Meteorology. Part II., Meteorological Cycles. By John H. Tice. St. Louis, 1875. Pp. 208. Price, $2.50.

We have in Mr. Tice's book another wild and fruitless attempt to explain all phenomena by electricity. As, in former times, unexplained phenomena were ascribed to magic or supernatural power, so in modern days the unscientific look to electricity as the efficient cause of all physical mysteries. The author of this book admits no force but electricity. Mechanics is a nightmare, centrifugal force is electric repulsion, the perturbing force of a planet is only electric attraction, and all the phenomena of our atmosphere arise from electrical causes.

The volume before us is Part 11., and from the preface we learn that Part I. has never been published; we are, however, not left in doubt as to its contents. We are told on the first page that in Part I. we can learn "all about the nature and constitution of rain and snow storms; all about cold and hot, wet and dry, seasons; and all about winds, gales, tornadoes, and hurricanes." If Mr. Tice has done half of what he claims, he has done enough to secure immortal fame. Nevertheless, after an ex-