Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/546

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Reviews of Books mingles the law of wills with the law of decedents' estates, and permits no devia tion from a comprehensive study of the whole subject. The book therefore con tains a great deal more than can be taught in a short course. Much of the historical matter is excellent, and the treatment of the practical details of administration is so extended as to offer very thorough preparation for the special work of probate practice. There is, however, a certain lack of proportion in a scheme of this kind, both intrinsically and in relation to other subjects in the curriculum, and a work based on such a scheme does not seem to be quite what the higher standards and more approved methods of legal education call for. This, however, can be nothing more than the result of considerations which influenced the editors, and does not reflect in any way upon the ability which they brought to their task. MR.


Retrospections of an Active Life. By John Bigelow. Doubleday. Page & Co., Garden City, N. Y. V. 4, 1867-1871, pp. 572; v. 5, 1872-9, 417 + 14 (appendix) + 28 (index). THE two remaining volumes of Mr. Bigelow's autobiography, though issued posthumously, under the editor ship of his son, come to us virtually in the same shape as if we had received them from his own hands. They bring the record down to the year 1879, where it must stop. While it is to be regretted that one of the greatest of American autobiographies falls so far short of measuring the full span of an eventful existence, we are permitted to hope that the mine of information left in his letters, diaries, and other literary re mains may be utilized in future publica tions prepared by those closest to him. In their general character the volumes


differ little from the three already re viewed (22 Green Bag 592). The most striking difference is that to be found in an increased preoccupation with literary interests, for after giving up his diplomatic mission to France Mr. Bige low spent three years in what he calls "comparative idleness," interesting him self in his farm and in literary pursuits, and afterwards, though he accepted such responsibilities as those of editor of the New York Times and Secretary of State, not to speak of other engagements, he was unable to play the role of publicist for any length of time to the exclusion of that of the scholar, bibliophile, and author. During these years he wrote his "France and Hereditary Monarchy," his sketch of Tilden's life, and his "Wit and Wisdom of the Haytians." He also met many of the literary celebri ties of the day, American and foreign, of whom his lively impressions are re corded. These "retrospections" are exceed ingly readable, they reflect the sane estimates of a ripe mind of the men and movements of his own time, and they are of inestimable historical value. Further, in the absence of the note of egotism, they are a model for auto biographies. WHITIN'S PENAL SERVITUDE Penal Servitude. By E. Stagg Whitin, Ph.D., general secretary of the National Committee on Prison Labor, assistant in Social Legislation in Columbia University. National Committee on Prison Labor, New York. Pp. vii + iii (introduc tion) 100 + 62 (appendices) + viii (index). THIS book was written to express cur rent progressive opinion in favor of the state use system as opposed to the contract system of prison labor. But while the subject treated, in its economic, political, and educational aspects, is primarily that of prison labor, the book deals also with the broader subject of