Popular Science Monthly/Volume 37/May 1890/Literary Notices
Practical Hints for the Teachers of Public Schools. By George Howland. International Education Series, Vol. XIII. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 198. Price, $1.50.
This volume deals with the practice rather than with the theory of education. It tells what to do, and does not concern itself with any comprehensive scheme of educational philosophy. The author is superintendent of the public schools of Chicago, and the several chapters of this volume are based upon papers read before the teachers of that city and vicinity. The author has not aimed to produce an exhaustive and systematic treatise, but has confined his attention to the following ten topics: Moral training in city schools, the character of the teacher, the place of memory in school instruction, elements of growth in school-life, the scholarship aimed at in the school, the teacher in the school-room, how the school develops character, the class recitation, the school principal, and the work of the superintendent. The pages of the book are dominated by the personality of the author, and the things and practices recommended are such as his experience tells him are good. In regard to moral training, the subject that he treats first, he has no faith in text-books or special instruction; he would trust entirely to "the quiet suggestion, the fitly chosen word, the interested inquiry, the look, the unfeigned sympathy, the favored opportunity, the firm but calm decision of the loved and loving teacher." In other subjects, however, he would depend altogether upon books. The sesame to all progress, he says, is found inscribed on the printed page. In the six years before the child comes to school he has had a training without books which, as Mr. Howland affirms, has been very effective. "He has early learned that fire will burn, that cold will freeze, and knows, beyond the power of Webster or Worcester to tell him, the meaning of burn and freeze; and by many a bump has the force of attraction been impressed upon him." He has learned a language, and has acquired much other knowledge. By similar means the Indian acquires a wonderful training of his senses, his hands, and his mental powers. "He learns to do," says Mr. Howland, "in the only true way, by the doing." In acquiring a knowledge of language the author recommends this same process. Correct use of words and a nice appreciation of their meanings and force are to be secured, he says, "not from dictionary, but from use alone." That the teacher should learn by this method, however, he deems inadmissible. In his chapter on "The School Principal" he says: "We learn to do by doing, is one of those aphoristic half-truths well suited to catch the ear and delude the mind of the un-thinking. We may acquire a mechanical facility by repeated doings of what we already know how to do, but we learn to do by learning how other people do, and by the aid of this knowledge striving to do something better." The volume is especially marked by an energetic character and a confident tone which assure the reader of the real interest of the author in the work of the teacher.
First Lessons in Political Economy. By Francis A. Walker. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 323. Price, $1.25.
The special purpose of this book is to bring political economy within the grasp of youth from fifteen to seventeen years of age. The author has not made it childish by restricting himself to "words of two syllables," or by any similar device. The character which he has aimed to give the volume in order to adapt it to young pupils consists in "a clear arrangement of topics; a simple, direct, and forcible presentation of the questions successively raised; the avoidance, as far as possible, of certain metaphysical distinctions which the author has found very perplexing to students of even a greater age; a frequent repetition of cardinal doctrines; and, especially, a liberal use of concrete illustrations, drawn from facts of common experience or observation." The fact that one purpose of the treatise is to interest beginners in the subject of political economy has also modified its character. "The author has not held himself, as strictly as he has sought in previous works to do, to the treatment of political economy as a science, to be distinguished from the art of political economy. He has allowed himself great freedom in assuming that certain results are desirable in themselves, and certain other results undesirable; and he has sought to show how these may be avoided and those attained. Much, which, in his other works, has been treated as belonging to the applications of political economy, is wrought into the substance of the present treatise." The work is divided into two chief parts, one treating of "Production and Exchange," the other of "Distribution and Consumption." Each section is numbered and has a title, and the volume is indexed.
Fuel and its Applications. By E. J. Mills and F. J. Rowan. Illustrated. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. xx + 802. Price, $7.50.
It is one of the obstacles to gaining a competent knowledge of technology that its manuals become almost worthless when a few years old, but it is the glory of the sciences on which technology depends that they advance fast enough to make these books antiquated so quickly. This is especially true of the group of industries based upon the science of chemistry. In order to supply the lack of a comprehensive, authoritative new work dealing with these industries, a series of volumes has been projected, under the general title "Chemical Technology, or Chemistry in its Applications to Arts and Manufactures." It will be edited by Charles E. Groves, F. R. S., editor of the "Journal of the Chemical Society," and William Thorp, B. Sc. As much of the matter of Richardson and Watts's "Chemical Technology" as is available, especially the historical portions, will be incorporated in the new work. Of this series the present volume is the first. The most important sections of the general field, to be covered in later volumes, are "Lighting," "Acids and Alkalies," "Glass and Pottery," "Metallurgy," "Textile Fabrics," "Leather, Paper, etc.," "Coloring Matters and Dyes," "Oils and Varnishes," "Brewing and Distilling," "Sugar, Starch, Flour," etc. The present volume treats of "Fuel and its Applications" generally; its special employment in various branches of chemical manufacture being preserved for detailed consideration in the volumes devoted to the special subjects enumerated above. In the chapters devoted to the production of fuel, tables are given showing the composition of the different woods and coals, together with information concerning the formation of peat, lignite, and coal, the world's production of coal, explosions in mines from fire-damp and coal-dust, etc. The figures representing the output of coal in Britain and other countries show the enormous development which has taken place in the fuel industry all over the world. Methods of burning charcoal, both in heaps and kilns; and methods of coking, in heaps and in ovens, are described, with illustrative views and diagrams. On the continent of Europe, methods of cleaning, washing, and classifying coal have reached a great degree of elaboration, and the practice in Britain has progressed somewhat in the same direction. Considerable space is devoted to these methods, and the machines employed in them. The most marked advance in respect to the manufacture and application of fuels in the past generation has been in the control and utilization of gases. The waste gases from coking ovens are now collected for their ammonia, tar, and other by-products, the gases from blast-furnaces using coal and from gas-producers are also made to yield these products; and great advance has been achieved in the extraction of ammonia in shale distillation. More important than these is the use of coal-gas, and in America of "natural" gas also, as fuel. The methods and appliances for using gaseous and also liquid fuel receive a general representation in this volume, and copious references are given for specialists who may wish to study particular branches of the subject. The portion of the volume devoted to the application of fuel is introduced by chapters on the theory of heat and the nature of flame. The matters of chimney-draught, forced combustion, and smoke prevention are then taken up. The special application of fuel considered first is in domestic heating. The open fireplace and several ventilating fireplaces, and the "American" stove, are mentioned; but most space is given to gas heating and cooking stoves. Heating by means of hot air, hot water, and steam also receives attention. The application of fuel to vaporization, i. e., the heating of boilers, is next treated; and from this subject the authors pass to the evaporation of liquids and distillation. The drying of wood and malt, baking bread, and firing brick and porcelain, also have a place. Furnaces for metallurgical and other technological operations are next treated, and an important chapter follows on gas-furnaces, including those using the regenerative principle. The closing chapter deals with the practical effect of fuel. A series of tables giving analyses of coals follows. Throughout the book exact information in regard to the several divisions of the subject is furnished in tables and diagrams. The volume contains seven plates and six hundred and seven other illustrations, and is provided with an adequate index.
Liberty and a Living. By Philip G. Hubert, Jr. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 239.
This book is described in its sub-title as the record of an attempt to secure bread and butter, sunshine and content, by gardening, fishing, and hunting. One of its mottoes is, "The royal peace of a rural home." The author, a writer on New York newspapers, wearied with the monotony and drudgery of city life, sought a way in which he could spend his time in the outdoor season profitably in the open air, and without giving up the winter residence in the city which his profession demanded. He found a place on the sea coast of Long Island which afforded a home, garden, wood-lot, access to the water for boating and fishing, and hunting privileges. The book describes his life there, and the moral and practical lessons derived from it. The transcript of the diary of a week gives a realistic picture of the average life. The home and its arrangements, the garden-work and its returns, the fishing, the bee-raising, the advantages derived from the possession of a wood-lot, and the balance of advantages and disadvantages, are described in successive chapters. The balance is shown to be decidedly in favor of the country, pre-eminently so to those who seek quiet, rational enjoyment, with health, who desire leisurely culture without excitement, who are willing to live independently of fashion, and who do not attach an exaggerated importance to show.
Jonathan Edwards. By Alexander V. G. Allen, D. D. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 401. Price, $1.25.
This is the first volume of the series of "American Religious Leaders," or biographies of men who have had great influence on religious thought and life in the United States, in which it is intended, besides depicting great figures in American religious history, to indicate the leading characteristics of that history, the progress and process of religious philosophy in America, the various types of theology which have shaped or been shaped by the various churches, and the relation of these to the life and thought of the nation. The present volume relates to the earliest and probably the greatest of those leaders—the thinker who, along with Benjamin Franklin, American and foreign critics agree in naming as representative of American intellectual activity in the eighteenth century. Prof. Allen's aim in this biography has been "to reproduce Edwards from his books, making his treatises, in their chronological order, contribute to his portraiture as a man and as a theologian." Something more than a mere relation of facts seemed to be demanded in order to justify the endeavor to rewrite his life. What we most desire to know is, what he thought, and how he came to think as he did. "Edwards is always and everywhere interesting, whatever we may think of his theology. On literary and historical grounds alone no one can fail to be impressed with his imposing figure as he moves through the wilds of the New World." Edwards's life is full of dramatic incident, and his writings furnish ground for fruitful study—a study which he that would understand the significance of New England thought in the last century, and under its later aspects as well, will find indispensable. The summation of the result of Edwards's work is concluded with the assertion that "all who accept the truth that divine things are known to be divine because humanity is endowed with the gift of direct vision into divinity, are accepting what Edwards proclaimed, what constitutes the positive feature of his theology. There are those who have made the transition from the old Calvinism, through the mediation of this principle, to a larger theology as if by a natural process. Among these typical thinkers were Thomas Erskine, McLeod Campbell, and Bishop Ewing in Scotland, or the late Mr. Maurice in England. These and such as these, in whom the God-consciousness is supreme, are the true continuators of the work of Jonathan Edwards."
Exercises in Wood-working; with a Short Treatise on Wood. By Ivin Sickels. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 158, with Plates.
This book is written for manual training classes in schools and colleges, having been prepared in the first instance in manuscript for the students in the College of the City of New York. The manuscript was copied for other schools. Many changes and additions were made under the suggestions of subsequent teaching; and it is now printed and published, for all who desire a volume of the kind. Being the product and result of work in teaching, it could hardly be other than a working book; and a working book, so far as it reveals itself to a critic's ken, it is. Its scope is the presentation of the facts which are most essential to the wood-worker's success and the good execution of his work, and of directions for the use of his tools and for manipulation. These facts and directions are given in a simple, concise style, intelligible to any pupil of ordinary sense. The book deals particularly with carpentry and joinery, and is divided into two parts. The first part treats of the structure, properties, and kinds of wood; its manufactures and economic relations to other substances; parasitic plants and insects, and means of preserving wood; under these heads are articles on the structure and composition of wood, branching of stems, age of trees, their decay, the season for cutting, milling, drying, and warping, the properties and defects of wood, its measure and values, and the kinds of wood. The several species used in wood-work, coarse and fine, are named and described; their value is estimated, their special qualities are pointed out, and the purposes indicated to which they are applied. This is followed by a tabular exhibit of the qualities of the various kinds of wood. A few words are given to the relations of wood and iron, and the wood-working trades are mentioned, and carpentry and joinery defined. A description of parasitic plants or fungi injurious to living trees and lumber follows; an account of injurious insects, prepared expressly for the book by Mr. Bashford Dean, and directions concerning the preservation of wood are given. The second part contains the exercises, preceded by a description of tools. The directions for the care and use of tools are explicit, and are illustrated by drawings representing the method of handling each tool, and the mark it makes. These exercises are followed by those concerning the forming and fixing of the several kinds of joints, gluing, making boxes, with hinging tops, drawers, and generally on uniting several pieces to make a complete structure; a series on the details of ordinary house carpentry, whence models may be constructed and the building of the various parts making up a wooden dwelling learned; the use of the frame-saw and methods of bending wood; pattern-work; shaping (boat model) by the use of templets; and veneering, with directions for painting and polishing.
The National Medical Dictionary. Two vols. By John S. Billings, M. D., etc., and Collaborators. Philadelphia: Lea Brothers & Co. Price, $12.
This work aims to define "every medical term in current use in English, French, German, and Italian medical literature, including the Latin medical terminology of all of these languages." The pronunciation of English and Latin terms is indicated, and the derivation of most English and Anglicized Latin words (except names of drugs and plants) is given. The dictionary does not attempt to be cyclopedic, but gives simply brief definitions of the words and phrases included in its list. Prefixed to the first volume is a number of tables, including a table of doses, of antidotes, of the inch and metre system of numbering spectacle-glasses, of thermometric scales, of the average dimensions of the fœtus at different ages, of the average dimensions of the parts and organs of the adult human body, and of the weights of the organs. Among these tables, also, there is a series, prepared by Prof. W. O. Atwater, showing the percentages of nutrient ingredients in a large number of food-materials, the fuel-values in the same, and standards for dietaries for different classes and occupations. Another table shows the expectation of life as derived from records of life-insurance companies, and from the last United States census.
The Anatomy of the Frog. By Dr. Alexander Ecker. Translated, etc., by George Haslam, M. D. Illustrated. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 449, with Colored Plates. Price, $5.25.
The frog is aptly designated by the author as eminently the physiological domestic animal. It is kept in every physiological laboratory, and is daily sacrificed in numbers on the altar of science. The physiologist has recourse to it, not only to obtain answers to new questions, but for the sake of demonstrating easily and quickly the most important known facts of the science. It has furnished the means through which many most important discoveries in physiology have been made. It has "afforded almost the only material for the investigation of the excitability of nerves and its associated electromotive changes, and also no inconsiderable part of the remaining nerve and muscle physiology." Much of our knowledge of the functions of the spinal cord is derived from experiment upon it. Its muscles have served for the investigation of the phenomena and the conditions of contraction. But for the web of its foot and the gills and tail of its tadpole, "we should not perhaps for a long time have arrived at a satisfactory knowledge of the existence and the conditions of the capillary circulation. Acquaintance with the constituents of the blood directly concerned in nutrition; important facts in the physiology of the blood and lymph; and insight into the laws of the heart's action, have all been obtained by observations and experiments on the frog. To it, also, in histology, we owe much of our knowledge of the structure of nerve-fibers, their origin and termination, their relations within the ganglia, and the structure of muscular fiber; and for the study of reproduction and development the frog has, next to the chick, afforded the most important material." The importance of students being well acquainted with the anatomy and structure of an animal which plays so prominent a part in their researches is obvious; and it is this which Dr. Ecker, who is Professor of Human and Comparative Anatomy in the University of Freiberg, and Dr. Haslam, have furnished in the present book. The original work of Prof. Ecker was published in 1864. A second part, embodying, besides the author's work, fruits of the researches of Prof. Wiedersheim, appeared in 1881-'82. The translation was undertaken by Dr. Haslam at the suggestion of Prof. A. Gamgee, and was accepted by the delegates of the Clarendon Press as one of the series of Foreign Biological Memoirs published by them. But it soon became evident that a mere translation would be unsatisfactory, and that it would be desirable to recast and modify parts of the book, and to give descriptions of the minute structure of the several organs. The translator has included the results of recent researches, and has added facts derived from his own observations.
The Elements of Astronomy. With an Uranography. By Prof. Charles A. Young. Boston: Ginn & Co. Pp. 470. Price, $1.55.
Prof. Young has prepared this text-book for use in high schools and academies, using in it much of the material and many of the illustrations of his larger work, General Astronomy. The author has tried to avoid going to an extreme in cutting down and simplifying, while giving a clear treatment of every subject. From the number of pages in the book it may be inferred that he has provided abundant material for a highschool course in astronomy. He has paid special attention to making all statements correct as far as they go, though many of them, on account of the elementary character of the book, are necessarily incomplete. No mathematics higher than elementary algebra and geometry is introduced into the text. In an appendix of some seventy pages, methods of making certain calculations and the construction of astronomical instruments are described. The Uranography comprises a brief description of the constellations visible in the United States, with four maps, from which the principal stars may be identified; also a list of such telescopic objects in each constellation as are easily found, and lie within the power of a small telescope. The volume is illustrated with one hundred and fifty-eight cuts.
American Spiders and their Spinning-Work. Vol. I. By Henry C. McCook, D. D. Published by the Author: Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. Pp. 372. Price $30 (set of three volumes).
The naturalist who takes dried or alcoholic specimens as the subjects of his study can prosecute his researches at all times and seasons, and independently of the will of the creatures that he is studying. But this advantage is offset by the limitation that the habits of the creatures, the kind of places they live in, the sort of structures they make, the way they move about, obtain their food, and rear their young, are a sealed book to him. The observations of the field naturalist, on the other hand, are attended by many more difficulties than those of the laboratory student. He must go to his specimens instead of having them brought to him. Perhaps they are not to be found at all seasons, and, when they are accessible, many hours must be spent in watching familiar actions in order not to miss a chance of seeing a new operation. He has the compensation, however, that he studies the creatures alive; hence the things which are hidden from the laboratory naturalist are revealed to him, and the knowledge that he gains arouses the widest interest and wins the greatest appreciation. The results which Dr. McCook lays before us in the present volume belong mainly in the latter class. They relate to the spinning-work of spiders, as performed in the making of webs and dens. With this is naturally connected some account of the methods of procuring food and the nesting habits of these creatures, and the intelligence that they display in adapting their operations to particular circumstances. In order to give the reader a correct idea of how spiders form their threads, a fully illustrated chapter on the structure of the spinning-organs has been introduced. The whole work will be confined to the orb-weavins: spiders of the United States, but a vast amount of material relating to other tribes, which the author has collected, has been drawn upon in order to make comparisons between the habits of the orb-weavers and other spiders. To the general reader, who sees no important difference between any two common wheel-shaped spider-webs, the distinct varieties of orb-weavers' snares described by Dr. McCook will be a revelation. Artists, too, who are supposed to be careful about the correct shapes of the things they draw, seem to have looked only carelessly at spiders' webs, for our author states that he has never seen but one in art work or book illustrations that gave proof of having been drawn from a natural web, by one who knew its characteristics. In three chapters the general features, the mode of constructing in detail, and the armature of orb-webs are presented. Passing to varieties of the orb, Dr. McCook describes the web with its center of closely woven silk tissue and a zigzag ribbon extending upward and downward, which is made by Argiope, a spider whose large size and beautiful markings make it conspicuous in our autumn fields. The round vertical webs made by Epeïra and other spiders are then touched upon. An account is given of the composite snares, which consist of a wheel-shaped web combined with a maze of intersecting lines; also of the sectoral orb, in which there is always one division of the wheel that is not crossed by the concentric rings.
Among the other peculiar features in webs that the author describes are the domed orb of the basilica spider, the ribbon decorations of the feather-foot, the triangle or part of a circle constructed by the triangle spider, and the somewhat irregularly radiating snare of the ray spider. A chapter on the engineering skill of spiders gives instances of their using weights to hold their webs taut, their placing of stay-lines in the best position allowed by circumstances, using unfamiliar substances for building a nest, etc. Especially interesting is a chapter on the mechanical strength of webs and the physical power of spiders, in which cases are given of spiders capturing and hoisting from the ground animals many times as large as themselves. Other topics that are fully treated, but which can be only mentioned here, are feeding habits, uses of poison, and nestmaking habits. In a concluding chapter on the genesis of snares, the author traces the relations which exist between the various forms of spinning-work treated in the fore, going pages. The volume contains three hundred and fifty-four illustrations, the author being convinced that a drawing is better to communicate some facts than pages of words. The pictures, moreover, are of artistic quality, and the mechanical work of the volume is of a high grade, making the book a remarkably handsome one. In the second volume of this work the author will treat the habits and industry associated with mating and maternal instincts, life of the young, etc. The third volume will be a systematic presentation of the orb-weavers of the United States, the descriptions being accompanied by a number of lithographic plates colored by hand. The work, aside from its scientific value and its popular interest, will be a treasure to the library of any one who secures a copy. The "author's edition" is limited to two hundred and fifty numbered copies, which are issued in cloth with uncut edges. A large part of the edition had been subscribed for before publication.
The Report of S. P. Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, for 1889, states that the income of the Smithsonian fund is becoming less and less adequate for the work of the Institution with each year of the country's growth. This fund is now $703,000, of which only $1,500 have been received in bequests since the original Smithson legacy. The secretary calls attention to the Institution as a suitable trustee for moneys intended for the advancement of knowledge. Additional space is needed for exhibition purposes for the National Museum. The appropriation allowed for making the foreign exchanges required by Government does not cover what this service costs the Institution, even though free transportation is given by many steamship companies. The library received 17,354 accessions in the course of the year, and the collection is so large that much of it is inaccessible from lack of room. The collection of living animals, which numbers over three hundred, has outgrown its accommodations, and a scheme for creating a zoölogical park on Rock Creek, in the District of Columbia, is being agitated. The report includes statistics of publications of the Institution during the year, of accessions to the museum and to the library, and of international exchanges.
A great many facts which chemists constantly need to refer to are put into handy shape in the little pamphlet which Prof. John H. Appleton has published now for eight years, called the Laboratory Year-Book (G. Roscoe and Co., Providence, 12 cents). This publication contains a calendar, notes on the chemical work done in the preceding year, a list of new elements announced since 1877, a table based on the latest revision of atomic and molecular weights, tables of weights, measures, and thermometer scales and equivalents, the C. G. S. system of units, pronunciations of words used in chemistry, logarithms, postal regulations, etc.
The Meteorological Observations made on the Summit of Pike's Peak, January, 1874, to June, 1888, are published in the Annals of Harvard College Observatory, Vol. XXII. The observations were made and were prepared for the press by the United States Signal Service, and the expense of publication has been borne by the Boyden fund. The observations occupy four hundred and fifty-eight quarto pages, and are introduced and supplemented by a few pages of text.
The Observations of the New England Meteorological Society for 1888, published in the Annals of the Harvard College Observatory, contains tables in which the work of the society for the year is summarized. In a general account of the weather of the year it is stated that nine months were colder and three warmer than the average in New England. The total precipitation exceeded the usual annual fall by twenty-five per cent.
Among the papers that have appeared in recent numbers of The Modern Science Essayist (James H. West, Boston; 10 cents a number) is one on The Scope and Principles of the Evolution Philosophy, by Lewis G. Janes, the first lecture of the Brooklyn Ethical Association's second season. Dr. Janes represents evolution as a universal method, explaining the processes of all activity. He states the agnostic position in regard to the Unknowable Cause, and denies that the evolutionist is a materialist. In his closing paragraphs he points out the kind of aid that evolutionary philosophy can give to the solution of the problems of society. The Moral and Religious Aspects of Herbert Spencer's Philosophy are presented in a paper by Sylvan Drey, under three heads: First, Spencer's theory of religion; second, Spencer's theory of morality; third, the relation of religion to morality from the Spencerian point of view. The object of the essay is exposition and not defense, and the author has the happy faculty of clear statement, which such work requires. In a lecture on Primitive Man, Z. Sidney Sampson sketches the life-record of man as it is revealed to us by the flint implements belonging to the Pleistocene and possibly to earlier geologic periods, by the articles found among the piles in the Swiss lakes, etc. The lecture is devoted mostly to the discoveries and conclusions relating to the earlier Old and New Stone Periods. C. Staniland Wake describes The Growth of the Marriage Relation, giving the attitude of primitive peoples toward consanguineous marriage, some of the varieties of polygyny and of polyandry that have obtained in various countries, and the chief features in the growth of monogamy.
Two successive volumes of the Questions of the bay series are devoted to "the railway problem." One of these, by Hon. W. D. Dabney, is entitled The Public Regulation of Railways (Putnams, $1.25). It deals with the commercial relations of the railways to the public, and does not take up the regulation of the roads with reference to safety and convenience. The author discusses first the legal aspects of the question and then its economic aspects. Under the former head are considered the sources of legislative power over railroads, and the limitations of this power arising from charter contracts, from the property rights of the owners of railways, and from the powers of Congress over interstate commerce. On these subjects, the decisions of the United States Supreme Court are taken as authority almost exclusively. On the economic side the discussion is based principally upon material contained in the reports and decisions of the Interstate Commerce Commission, and in the testimony and arguments presented to that body in the report made and testimony taken by the "Cullom Committee" of the Senate, and various other reports. The closing chapters contain a brief analysis of the Interstate Commerce Act, and a consideration of the relations of the express companies to the railways and to the people.
The phase of the subject dealt with by Mr. John M. Bonham concerns Railway Secrecy and Trusts (Putnams, $1.25). The secret discounts that railways make to certain monopolistic manufacturing corporations the author regards as the most serious feature of the railway problem. In his discussion of the subject he traces the growth of abuses in railroad management, showing that they owe their existence to the faulty system under which railroad charters have been granted. He states that the commissions that have been appointed to regulate great trusts and corporations fail to accomplish any reform because they have not the power to get at the secret agreements of these bodies, and he recommends a system of inspection which will prevent the unjust favoritism complained of.
The Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1887-'88 is about as late in appearing as that of the preceding year, although it was completed three months earlier. The efforts and appeals of Commissioner Dawson for prompt publication of this document should meet with better success. Among the topics that receive special attention in the report are the condition and needs of education among the thousand Metlakahtla Indians, who have recently removed from British Columbia to an island near Sitka, also among the other inhabitants of Alaska. Manual training, industrial instruction, and education at the South, are also carefully reviewed.
A course of lectures on the Constitutional History of the United States, as seen in the Development of American Law (Putnams, $2), delivered at the University of Michigan, has been published in book form. The subjects and lecturers are as follows: The Federal Supreme Court: its Place in the American Constitutional System, by Judge Thomas M. Cooley; Constitutional Development in the United States as influenced by Chief-Justice Marshall, by Hon. Henry Hitchcock; as influenced by Chief-Justice Taney, by Hon. George W. Biddle; as influenced by the Decisions of the Supreme Court since 1865, by Prof. Charles A. Kent; and The State Judiciary: its Place in the American Constitutional System, by Hon. Daniel H. Chamberlain.
The treatise on Money, by James Platt (Putnams, 75 cents), is historical, commercial, and economic in scope. It gives a sketch of the origin of money, after which the question, What is money? is discussed. The author defines money as "a commodity, of the same general nature as all other commodities." But he says that, although a wealth in itself, its utility consists in its ready convertibility. Paper is not money, according to his view. Considerable space is devoted to explanations and counsel about banking. Exchange and interest receive attention, and the author then proceeds to discuss wealth and capital. Some considerations on panics are given, with the aim of preventing the tight grip on money that always aggravates a panic. In the closing sections, means of attaining individual success and national prosperity are pointed out.
The History of Federal and State Aid to Higher Education in the United States has been prepared by Frank W, Blackmar, Ph. D., at the request of the Bureau of Education, as one of the series upon the history of higher education in the United States, authorized by the Secretary of the Interior. It is intended to represent the progress of the State idea in education from the foundation of the colonies to the present time. It discusses the rise of national education, with its relation to local, and brings forward the opinions of statesmen and scholars concerning the duties and functions of government in public education. A brief history is given of the methods adopted by Congress to encourage and assist institutions of learning, while the main body of the work is devoted to the presentation in a condensed form of the plans pursued by the Legislatures of thirty-eight States in the treatment of higher education. One of the strongest inferences drawn by Commissioner Dawson from the investigation is that in nearly every instance the foremost desire of the people has been for colleges and universities rather than for schools of a lower grade, the opinion having prevailed that primary and secondary schools were dependent for their existence on higher institutions.
The Twenty-seventh Annual Report of the Massachusetts Agricultural College gives an account of the work of the institution during 1889, with the usual information about course of study, professors, equipment, etc. Appended to this report is a paper by Prof. Paul Wagner, of Darmstadt, On the most Profitable Use of Commercial Manures, translated by Prof. Charles Wellington in answer to the demand for information on the subject.
In The Evolution of a Life (Holt Pubfishing Company, $2), Henry Truro Bray tells the story of his early life, of his career as a clergyman in the Methodist and then in the Episcopal Church, and of Ms being forced to leave the ministry on account of his growing disbelief in the supernatural doctrines of religion and his increasing disgust with the practices of church-members and men in holy orders. The experiences and incidents which are told in this volume under the veil of fictitious names exhibit many of the persons with whom Mr. Bray's labors brought him in contact in no very enviable light. The story, especially the part relating to the author's married life, reveals the joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, discouragements and triumphs of an affectionate, sensitive, and religious nature, which has been sadly torn by contact with the world.
Bulletin No. 7 of the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station contains accounts of experiments and observations on seven subjects. The chief article is on varieties of corn, and is illustrated with four plates. The other topics treated are the millets, sugar from sorghum, the codling moth, new Cynipidæ, the hog-louse, and varieties of grapes.
The Monthly Bulletin of the Iowa State Board of Health (Des Moines, 25 cents a year) is a decidedly practical and wide-awake document. Each number is made up of brief and timely articles on hygienic subjects, replies to questions, reports of mortality, and of the appearance of contagious diseases within the State, etc. A Signal Corps meteorological report for each month is also included.
A brief account of Massage and the Original Swedish Movements has been prepared for physicians and others interested by Kurre W. Ostrom (Blakiston, 75 cents). It describes the operations of massage, with figures, and the various passive movements belonging to the Swedish system. Lists of manipulations and movements suitable for a large number of diseases are given. In these applications Ling's and Mezger's systems have generally been followed. Some considerations in regard to the effects of exercise are included in the volume, and a caution against the untrained "rubbers" who form a large part of those who claim to be masseurs in America, or who use the name as a cloak for vice.