Page images
[ocr errors]

But, while primarily designed for the general reader, it is a book which the trained anthropologist may read with interest and profit, since it touches cautiously but significantly upon some of the mooted problems of modern science. The author, while admitting the difficulty of defining race and distinguishing differences in the mental capacity of races, is not carried away by the modern humanitarianism which would obliterate all race distinctions. He asks, “If the hereditarily long-headed can change under suitable conditions, then what about the hereditarily short-witted ? .... No doubt [he adds) man moves forward partly because Nature kicks him behind. But in the first place some types of animal life go forward under pressure from Nature while others lie down and die." The natives of Africa, for instance, have not "reached as high a pitch of indigenous culture as the resources of the environment, considered by itself, might seem to warrant.” And it may be said also of certain native Australians that, despite a very fair environment, away from the desert regions of the interior, they have on the whole stagnated. As to the soundness of these views, it might be suggested that a more careful reading of Ratzel's Anthropogéographie might convince the author that the Africans and Australians have quite measured up to their environment. The real question is whether races, in adapting themselves to their environment, do not, through natural selection, acquire different capacities, just as dogs and cotton seed, for instance, have acquired their special characteristics in different environments, so that varieties from different quarters of the earth can no longer attain to the same development in the same surroundings.

The author defines religion as a general striving of humanity, and agrees with McDougall in identifying it with morality. What is magic but a striving for the good ? Psychologically speaking, religion is an effort to deal with the crises of life. Moral development has two stages: first, synnomic, wherein conduct is based upon custom and habit; second, syntelic, wherein man acts upon reflection.


[ocr errors]

The New Politics. By F. B. VROOMAN. New York: Oxford

University Press, American Branch, 1911. Pp. 300.

This sketch of tendencies in American politics is one of those few books which strike out clearly at the solution of a leading issue in modern life. The author contends that politics in America still rests upon

[ocr errors]

the doctrines of laissez faire and ethical hedonism, although these philosophies are now bankrupt and are bankrupting our American democracy. To the author, the most immoral thing in our social system-or our social anarchy-is that Machiavellianism which subjects all social policy to the test of economic opportunism and the plunderbund of greed operating under the shibboleths of individual liberty and states' rights. Over against this tendency he places the standard of liberty as a means, not as an end; individual liberty itself is not found in individualism and particularism but in social control and nationalism. He points out that the conflict of the future is not to be between individualism and nationalism, as it has been for more than a century, but between nationalism and socialism, and that only the hearty support of the rule of all the people over their institutions through a scientifically regulated social control can check the growing tendency of the people to seek protection from vested interests in socialism.

The author is scarcely justified in finding, as he does, that Hamilton was the originator of all the good and Jefferson of all that is evil in our modern conflict between social control and anarchy, nor can we agree with his assumption that the parties to the present conflict can always be labeled with accuracy. But his central insistence upon the superiority of a democracy of conservation and social control over the disintegrating tendencies of a democracy of individualism is almost a new departure in our writing on socio-political questions; and it is as commendable as it is new. Despite the numerous evidences of hasty writing and the fact that there are more references to the Greeks than is necessary, the author has hit upon what he is justified in considering our most vital social problem--that of injecting order into and of eliminating waste from the social process. That the solution lies in the general direction of the author's argument can scarcely be doubted.



Lame and Lovely. Essays on Religion for Modern Minds. By

FRANK CRANE. Chicago: Forbes & Co., 1912. Pp. 215. $1.oo.

The author, well known for his previously published books and many writings in newspapers and magazines, has presented in this volume a collection of forty-five short essays which he calls “Preachments to the common folks."

These essays deal in a fragmentary manner with some of the mooted questions of the religious and social life. They have no definite plan and coherence, and no clear-cut argument.

The work abounds in original, catchy statements, and scrappy bits of philosophy, which, though containing an element of helpfulness, do not exert a wholesome influence upon the general reading public. The attempt to be attractive in dealing with these thought problems of the masses has resulted in sensationalism, and in much misstatement, overstatement, and contradiction.

Such a book may be inspirational, if by inspirational we mean that sort of dynamic and abiding power which the author attributes to Christianity apart from objective expression, but its real social value is to be seriously questioned.



NOTES AND ABSTRACTS Some Recent Advances in Syphilis and Gonorrhoea.—Three advances of great practical importance have been made in connection with syphilis: (1) the discovery of the specific organism of the disease by Schaudinn in 1905 has made possible the early diagnosis by the ultra-microscope at least a fortnight before any secondary symptoms appear; (2) Ehrlich's salvarsan has proved to be the most powerful weapon for the cure of syphilis, but has not been used long enough to determine the permanence of its cures; moreover a number of deaths have been recorded which were due directly to its use; (3) the Wassermann test makes it possible to tell definitely and accurately when the patient is cured. The advances in gonorrhoea are not so revolutionary as in syphilis, but there has been increased accuracy of diagnosis of the site of the lesion, improvement in the treatment of the early cases, and improvement in the treatment of chronic gonorrhoea.-J. Swift Joly, Practitioner, July, 1912.

E. H. S. Treatment of Syphilis by Salvarsan.-By the use of salvarsan for syphilis, the chancre, the mucous patch, and the condyloma, which are the active carriers of the contagion, are in the majority of cases healed over in forty-eight hours, thus greatly diminishing the spread of the disease. It is not yet certain that these cures are permanent. În cases of congenital syphilis, since salvarsan is not well borne by very young children, the nursing mother must be injected. In nearly every case so treated the symptoms in the infant

rapidly disappeared. There are dangers in the use of salvarsan and fatal results have occurred in cases which were in a hopeless condition prior to treatment, or in which the drug had been wrongly administered. Since this is the first year of the use of this drug, the results are exceedingly encouraging.--Percy E. and Stanley Tresidder, Practitioner, July, 1912.

E. H. S. The Wassermann Reaction in Infants and Children.-It has been impossible to determine accurately the prevalence of congenital syphilis because of the difficulty of diagnosis in certain periods of childhood. A study of 101 children in Chicago hospitals by the Wassermann test shows that 28 per cent of the children, selected mostly at random, were afflicted with congenital syphilis; this is a much larger percentage than has been found previously by less accurate tests, for 37 per cent of these had no symptoms when tested by other methods. It is evident from this that there is a very large amount of congenital syphilis among children in hospitals.-Frank Spooner Churchill, American Journal of Diseases of Children, June, 1912.

E. H. S. An Examination of Some Factors Influencing the Rate of Infant Mortality.A study of infant mortality

in the rural districts of Bavaria by means of multiple correlation shows (1) that a high birth-rate tends to be associated with a high infant deathrate and that this association cannot be explained by any interrelations between either variable and proportional poverty or artificial feeding; (2) that a considerable share in the causation of infant mortality should be attributed to a factor beyond the ordinary sphere of preventive medicine; (3) that there is a definite correlation between the rate of infant mortality and the habit of artificially feeding infants, but (4) no unambiguous association between poverty and infant mortality or breast feeding and the birth-rate.-M. Greenwood and J. W. Brown, Journal of Hygiene, May, 1912.

The New Era in Neurology.—The neurology of the previous generation, which was the era of diagnosis and localization, is passing away. We must now turn to another class of questions in neurology: eugenics, condition and care of the high-grade moron girl, study of the mentally deficient girl in school and in court, the prophylaxis of nervous breakdown. This enlargement of neurology means mutual co-operation and appreciation between neurology and other sciences.-W. N. Bullard, Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, July, 1912.

E. H. S.

[ocr errors]


The Present Altitude. The standard of human fitness varies with the epoch. The capacities, physical and mental, which are sufficient to qualify an individual for success in a rude state of society may be wholly inadequate in a complex one, and we have no knowledge that the human organism will be always capable of standing the increasing strain to which it is subjected. War and ruthless competition are a menace. If the race is to preserve the zest to live, it must be well that it should have confidence in its perfectibility.-F. Carrel, The International Journal of Ethics, July, 1912.

J. E. E. The World's Most Important Conservation Problem.—The world's most important problem is the discovery of methods of conserving and increasing the brain power of mankind. The possibility of extending the scope of work carried on in the biological departments of our universities so as to facilitate and encourage investigations in the broad field of biological psychology would be an important factor in bringing these institutions into the closest touch with the subjects of most vital importance to humanity. The Phipps Psychiatric Clinic in Baltimore will mark a new era in this country, not only in the study of nervous and mental diseases, but also in advancing our knowledge of many questions of immediate importance for educators and those interested in the solution of social problems.-Dr. Stewart Paton, The Popular Science Monthly, August, 1912.

J. E. E. The Sociological Survey.-The fundamental ideal in a sociological survey is to prosecute a study of the generation and the degeneration of man, so as to make it effectively subserve the supreme social purpose of his regeneration. In preaching the doctrine of education and of betterment, sociology makes no claim to novelty. But it does insist, with the strongest emphasis, on the elementary scientific axioms that diagnosis must precede treatment; that action must be based on adequate knowledge. The sociologist, no less than his predecessor, the theologian, asserts his faith in an underlying unity. He believes that the riddle of history may be read, and that man was intended to control his social tradition, to possess the heritage of good, and to cast off the burden of evil.—V. V. Branford, The Sociological Review, April, 1912.

J. E. E. The Degeneration of Classes and Peoples. It is very evident from our contemporary

life that the large city is the hot-bed of degeneration and always will be so. History shows that the country stock preserves the power of culture-races longer than would otherwise be the case. Degeneration is the inevitable price we must pay for progress. The only way that the legislator can restrain the country population from yielding to the seduction of the town is by homestead laws.-Dr. Max Nordau, Hibbert Journal, July, 1912.

J. E. E. Public Opinion and War.-There is no prospect that wars will cease. far as nations are not prepared to fight they are going down hill. When the world has ceased to contain evil, war will cease; so will prisons and many of our other institutions. Until then those who argue that war is in every case wrong are advocating the acceptance of the mediocre in order to avoid the trouble of striving for the best.-Norman Whatley, The Economic Review, April 15, 1912.

J. E. E. Harmful Effects of Industrial Combinations on Labor Conditions.-A comparison of labor conditions under our modern industrial system with those in existence before the era of large combinations shows conclusively that the conditions of the workers from an economic and social standpoint were much superior under the old method of independent operation. Their very opportunities for making a living have been largely circumscribed. The laborer's only hope of regaining his social and economic individuality is by uniting with fellow-workmen in a movement through which he will be able to secure a joint bargain with his employer for the labor he has to sell.—John Williams, The Annals of the American Academy, July, 1912.

J. E. E. Amusements.-Most labor has become highly specialized and monotonous. With its shorter working-day has come an opportunity as well as a demand for wholesome amusement. Municipalities offer education, art galleries, and libraries, but have

In so

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »