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The Story of the Mormons, From the Date of Their Origin to the Year


Macmillan Co. Pp. 637. $4.

The object of the work, as stated in the preface, is “to present a consecutive history of the Mormons from the day of their origin to the present writing, and as a secular, not as a religious, narrative.” The work is a careful research based upon materials derived from both Mormon and non-Mormon sources. Several pages of the preface are devoted to explanatory statements regarding the sources from which the material used has been drawn. Throughout the work the author has indicated, by means of footnotes, the authority for the materials used. An unusually complete table of contents and index render the book a convenient one for reference. It is illustrated with facsimile prints of the Kinderhook plates, the title-page of the first edition of the Mormon Bible, the Book of Abraham, and an altered Kirtland banknote.

The work is divided into six books, the first of which treats of the origin of the Mormons. The following four books are devoted, respectively, to an account of their migration to and life in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, and their final migration to Utah. The last book, which consists of twenty-six chapters, treats of their life in Utah.

In referring to the situation out of which Mormonism arose, the author sees no cause for surprise in its remarkable development as a religious organization. That which seems wonderful to him is “its success in establishing and keeping together in a republic like ours a membership who acknowledge its supreme authority in politics as well as in religion, and who form a distinct organization which does not conceal its purpose to rule over the whole nation.” The life of Joseph Smith is traced from his boyhood in Vermont, where he professed to have his father's gift in the use of the divining-rod, to the time when he declares himself a prophet and begins to found a new religion. The author shows that the deciding event in the career of Joseph Smith was a trip to Susquehanna county, Pa., where he obtained the idea of becoming a “gazer," and where he probably first met Sydney Rigdon, whom the author shows to be the “real originator of the whole scheme for a new church." The remainder of Book I is devoted to a history of the Mormon Bible, in which the author shows the various factors that were involved, and the especially prominent part taken by Sydney Rigdon, who is not generally recognized as having anything to do with the work; and to the organization of the church, the beliefs and doctrines of the Mormons, and their church government.

The four following books, which treat of the Mormons in the period of the migrations, are based largely upon the aims and objects of the leaders as presented in the “Mormon Bible” and the “Doctrine and Covenants.” The latter work consists chiefly of the revelations which "directed the organization of the church and its secular movements," and hence is invaluable as a means of determining the methods of the leaders in controlling the people. Although each of these chapters is full of interest, perhaps chap. 6 of Book III, which gives an account of the revelations received at the time of the organization of the Danites, and those chapters in Book IV which treat of the nature of the city government at Nauvoo and the revelation regarding polygamy, will best enable the reader to understand the nature of the objections of the people of Missouri and Illinois to their new neighbors.

The interest which is centered in Joseph Smith up to near the close of the period of their settlement in Illinois, after the death of Smith is transferred to Brigham Young, who maintained an autocratic rule up to the time of his death. The last book, which deals with the history of the Mormons in Utah, is of interest not merely because it gives an accurate account of pioneer life in a region almost cut off from communication with the outside world, but on account of those methods of government, social habits, and modes of thought which differ from those in other parts of the United States, and which seem in some respects to be a reversion to an earlier stage of culture. The closing chapters treat of such questions as the relation of the Mormon people to the federal government, the importance of a federal constitutional amendment forbidding polygamous marriages, and the scope of the Mormon political ambition.

Although the facts presented in many instances are such as would naturally call forth the expression of strong feeling, the author has adhered to his purpose of searching for facts, and has uniformly refrained from drawing conclusions. Only by a faint touch of humor or a pungent remark after presenting the facts which show the methods adopted by the Mormon leaders for obtaining their ends does the author in any way give expression to his own feelings upon the subject.


It was


Pure Sociology: A Treatise on the Origin and Spontaneous

Development of Society. By LESTER F. WARD. New
York: The Macmillan Co. Pp. xii+606. $4.

A GROUP of writers will be invited to discuss in this JOURNAL salient features of this work. Meanwhile we record its appearance, and congratulate author, publisher, and the sociologists. A New York daily paper lampooned the book in a column editorial. gratuitous advertisement of the effect which scientific treatment of any subject has on the hobo type of mind. A few days earlier the following was written in a private letter, by an American who has been studying philosophy and sociology in Germany for three or four years, after graduation from college and then from a newspaper office in this country:

It seems to me that the most important thing is self-knowledge, the knowledge of what you are doing in the world, and why you are doing it. America lacks self-knowledge, it seems to me, in several directions. No nation in the world seems to me so passionately engaged in doing as America, and hardly any nation to be doing it so blindly.

Some of us think that the sort of thing which Dr. Ward is doing will pay larger social dividends, in the long run, than any equal investment of energy in any other direction. We shall never know ourselves, individually or socially, till someone finds us out and helps us see ourselves in our processes of coming into being and of completing our being. Such knowledge is too wonderful for most of us at present, but a few minds demand it, and more will learn to swell the demand. It will be a long time before a more important contribution to social self-knowledge appears between the covers of a single book.

A. W. S.

Heredity and Social Progress. By Simon N. PATTEN, New York:

The Macmillan Co. Pp. 214. $1.25.

THERE is poetic justice in Professor Patten's conversion from a most inveterate prosecutor, if not persecutor, of the “biological sociologists,” and his appearance, not merely as a sociologist, but as one outbiologizing them all. I humbly confess this essay is beyond my depth. I shall make diligent search for someone to expound it. The vital and the psychical still seem so unlike to me, and both of them are still so mysterious, that putting the two mysteries together in this familiar fashion raises in my mind more doubts than it settles, not merely about the combination, but about the components. I fear that Professor Patten is not even, as he hopes, on the main line to truth via the route recommended by Huxley: (p. vi). “If you can't be right, be dead wrong.” To be incomprehensible is neither.

A. W. S.

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The Woman Who Toils: Being the Experiences of Two Ladies

as Factory Girls. By Mrs. JOHN VAN VORST AND MARIE

Van Vorst. New York: Doubleday, Page & Co. Pp. 303.

This is the book which called out the now famous letter of President Roosevelt on the subject of parenthood. The letter is printed as a preface. It does not appear, by the way, that either of the authors is a mother, but they seem to have willingly posed to point the president's moral, in exchange for his advertising. As records of adventure the chapters are readable, in spite of a tinge of caddishness in keeping the reader reminded that the adventurer was a “lady,” able at any moment by a “presto" to spirit herself into another world. One is unable to decide how much of a lark, and how much of serious investigation, was in the enterprise that collected these first-hand observations. It is equally impossible to decide whether this indeterminable state of mind was competent to receive correct impressions of the subjective conditions encountered. The sketches will have to count, therefore, as specimens of amateur social photography. As studies of the view-point of the woman who toils their value is dubious.

A. W. S.


Pedagogy and Sociology. - I consider as the very foundation of all pedagogical speculation that education is a thing eminently social, judged from its origin and by its function ; and that, therefore, pedagogy depends upon sociology more directly than upon any other science. Until recent years teachers have considered education as chiefly individual, and pedagogy, therefore, an immediate corollary of psychology alone. By Kant, Mill, Herbart, and Spencer education had for its object the highest possible realization of the attributes constitutive of the human species in general. There was one human nature, the forms and properties of which are determined once for all, and the pedagogical problem was how to engage and employ that nature, thus completely given and latent in the child. The educator had nothing essential to add to the work of nature; he created nothing. His business was to exercise the existing powers of the child lest they atrophy through inaction, be warped in their moral direction, or develop too slowly. Since man was possessed of and furnished with these powers, it followed that a study of man, and of man as an individual, would determine how his development should be directed. The important thing was to know what are his native faculties and what are their characteristics. But the science which describes and explains the individual man is psychology, and it seemed, therefore, that psychology ought to suffice for all the needs of pedagogy.

But, unhappily for such a view, it finds itself at odds with all that history teaches. Different systems of education have always existed and functioned side by side in every society. Education varies from one caste to another; that of the patricians was not that of the plebians, that of the Brahman was not that of the Cudra. Even now education varies with social classes and even with communities; that of the bourgeois is not that of the laborer, that of the city is not that of the country. Each profession constitutes a method sui generis for bringing out the special powers and aptitudes of the child. In every civilized country there is a tendency more and more to diversify and specialize.

But it is evident that these special schools or systems of education are not organized for individual ends. It is true they develop the special abilities of the individual and in this sense are individual. But it is society, in order to maintain itself, demanding this division of labor and that according to the special abilities of its members, which creates these special schools. It is by society and for society that education is thus diversified. And further, this determining influence of society upon the education is easily demonstrated from history. Each type of people has its own education, peculiar to itself and which can be described under the same name as its moral, political, and religious organization. Consider how at one time education teaches the individual to give himseif completely into the hands of the state, and how at another time it is designed to make him the director of his own conduct; education was ascetic in the Middle Ages, liberal at the time of the Renaissance, literary in the seventeenth century, and is scientific in our own time. This is not because men have been mistaken as to the nature and needs of man, but it is because his needs have varied, and these have varied because the social conditions upon which human needs depend do not remain the same.

That education has been directly dependent upon social conditions is easily recognized in history, but somehow we think our system of education to be independent of our social system. But it would be strange if education, after having had during these centuries, and in all known societies, all the characteristies of a social institution, should in our time so completely change its nature. A strange transformation it would be when, at the very moment in which it is thought to have taken place, the most striking fact in the education, not only of France, but of all

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