Page images


(pp. 162 ff.) is especially brilliant and illuminating, a vigorous protest against the study for study's sake, and subject for subject's sake, which penetrates the school and university atmosphere in which the English wealthier classes are nurtured. There is something significant in such a reaction on the part of a philosopher and one trained and now training in the classic atmosphere of an Oxford college. It is a timely warning:

The great institutions, which have the social function of transmitting the treasures of accumulated knowledge from generation to generation, are always liable to get out of order, and to engender so much obnoxious rubbish as to clog their working and to poison humanity. ... There is a standing danger that educators should become the worst foes of education. There is probably no system of education, and no university in the world which does not tend to an overproduction of pedantry and dogmatism, and which, if it were conducted wholly according to the ideas of the experts whose duty it is to run it, would not become worse than useless socially. For experts, if left to themselves, tend to develop professional ideals and standards of value of their own, which grow independent of considerations of social welfare, and frequently run counter to them. But if there should occur at any time a general breakdown in the educational machinery which transmits the knowledge that is power and means social security, it is evident that a society may be propelled irreparably on the declivity that leads to destruction. No society, therefore, is safe unless it is constantly on its guard against its own weaknesses, against the clogging of its institutions by their own waste products, and by the excesses of their virtues, against the repression of ability and the preservation and promotion of unfitness, against the excessive delays in perceiving when old adjustments have broken down and new devices and new knowledge are needed to adapt human life to new conditions.


The Infancy of Animals. By W. P. PYCRAFT. New York: Henry

Holt, 1913. Pp. xiv+272; 64 plates and many text illustrations. $1.75.

The infancy of animals is a subject which is of interest, as the author says in his preface, not only to the naturalist but also to the sociologist, and especially to the observer of child life. Yet the present work is, we believe, the first book ever written expressly on this subject. It is a worthy treatment of the theme, being a fund of reliable data regarding the infancy of hundreds of species of animals, compiled by an expert naturalist. Space is apportioned to the different groups approximately as follows: mammals, 50 pages; birds, 105 pages; reptiles, amphibians,


fishes, invertebrates, 25 to 30 pages each. The treatment of each group is divided, in general, into three unequal parts: the greater part being given to habits and behavior, both the habits of the young and the nursing behavior of the parents; a large part dealing with structures, illustrating especially the law of recapitulation; and a lesser part dealing with coloration. The book is not a repetition of old reprinted facts, but gives the results of the great recent advances in the study of wild life, not a few of the observations being the author's own. Unfortunately, references to the original papers are given in only a few cases. The illustrations are of great value. The author's style is that of the great British naturalists, clear and fluent, yet conveying a vast amount of information upon every page. Nevertheless, a small book upon so wide a field can cover, of course, only selected instances. The two general facts which appear most constantly through all the wealth of particulars are, on the one hand, the severe struggle for existence to which the callow young are subjected, resulting in some species in a prodigious death-rate; and on the other hand, the infinite variety of the adaptations which tend toward the preservation of the young. There is little attempt at psychological interpretation; this is as it should be in a work by a zoologist. A sociologist, reading the book, will find a rich store of data awaiting psychological and sociological interpretation and application.

The book has a good index, yet not so complete as it ought to be; for since the facts here presented are chiefly of an individual nature, each standing by itself, they cannot be systematized, and every fact should be represented in the index.


Christianity and the Labor Movement. By WILLIAM M. BALCH.

Boston: Sherman, French & Co., 1912. Pp. it108. $1.00.

“No menace to the future can be so serious as a lasting estrangement between the labor movement and Christianity,” says Mr. Balch, and this estrangement is now a practical reality. Mutual misunderstanding, he decides, is the cause, very few laborers being hostile or cordial but rather indifferent or dissatisfied. Mutual understanding is the solution.

It would be easy to criticize this little book. The social scientist could point out several flaws in its theory and might object to numerous Outlook, McClure's, Saturday Evening Post references to the neglect of more weighty authorities. And laborers would hardly find convincing the chapter on “What Wage-Earners Should Know about the Church." But the book is for churchmen and to these Rev. Balch appeals with vigor: “Christian men of today must remember the Priest and the Levite of old who passed by on the other side-possibly not so much heartless as busy men, probably engaged just then in 'church-work”” (p. 51). "Not war alone, but work sometimes, is hell” (p. 44). "The difference is so inconsiderable that working-men seeking work do not usually inquire which employers are church-members and which are not” (p. 23). “Labor demands justice, not pity" (p. 44). "Church-men are

. to stand for social justice everywhere, all the time, and at any cost" (p. 108).

It is a timely book, interestingly written, will prove valuable for pastors' reading, advanced classes in Sabbath schools and Y.M.C.A. courses, and is cordially recommended for such use.





The Courts, the Constitution, and Parties: Studies in Constitutional

History and Politics. By ANDREW C. MCLAUGHLIN. Chicago:
The University of Chicago Press, 1912. Pp. vi+299.

Professor McLaughlin has collected five studies in this volume, consisting of essays and addresses that he has published or delivered on different occasions in recent years. They are “The Power of a Court to Declare a Law Unconstitutional,” “The Significance of Political Parties," “Political Parties and Popular Government," "Social Compact and Constitutional Construction," and "A Written Constitution in Some of Its Historical Aspects."

The studies deal with cardinal and fundamental principles that are of interest to all students of current and historical politics and to all interested in the science of government and the conduct of the state.

The chief study of the five is the one on the power of the courts to invalidate legislative acts. In this Professor McLaughlin is not controversial but expository. His purpose is not to prove or disprove the right of the Supreme Court to set aside legislative acts, but to give the background in history and political philosophy which will serve to explain if not to justify the nullifying powers that the courts have exercised. His inquiry is to find out how the power came to be. Professor McLaughlin first examines this power from the point of view of the principles laid down by Marshall in Marbury v. Madison; then, from the nature of a written constitution, and on the basis of the arguments set forth by Hamilton and Wilson in the discussions over the Constitution at the time of its adoption; and working back farther to the origins through the prior decisions of state courts from 1774 to 1787, the principle of the supremacy of the courts is examined from the viewpoint of political philosophy. The author shows that this supreme judicial power has come, not because it was assented to when Marshall asserted it; not because it was specifically and intentionally conferred by the Convention of 1787, nor from the nature of a written constitution, nor yet because the principle had been established by prior decisions of state courts; but rather because the courts held themselves bound in litigation to apply the Constitution as the supreme law of the land, and because the courts, under the theory of the separation of powers, held themselves not as superior to, but as independent of, the other departments of government and were empowered to interpret the Constitution for themselves when acting within their own field in expounding the law. Professor McLaughlin recognizes that a decision of the Supreme Court is not a part of the Constitution and that the other departments of the government are also independent and may interpret the Constitution for themselves; and that where the political branches of the government have accepted as the Constitution what the court says is the Constitution, it has been done as a matter of accommodation and expediency to avoid conflict, and not because they were under obligations to accept the dicta of the court. Thus the defense of the doctrine of court supremacy is set forth. This purpose of the author is further seen in his connecting this nullifying judicial power with what is recognized as an all-pervading American doctrine that there were rights and privileges and powers beyond legislative control, and that men had natural rights which no government might violate or deny. This seems to connect the doctrine of judicial nullification with the right of resistance to usurpation, with the "right of revolution"—the right of the people to determine whether government-executive, legislative, or judicial-has transcended its powers, and to determine the mode and measure of redress.

This seems to the reviewer to press the point too far. This principle of the Revolution—"resistance to tyrants is obedience to God”—is more obviously related to the "higher law" doctrine of the Abolitionists, that there were clauses of the Constitution itself that were unconstitutional and therefore null and void, because they violated fundamental human rights and the immutable principles of justice. But from such revolutionary "ideas” the theory that the courts shall be supreme in defining and determining the competency of the legislature and the executive under the "supreme law of the land" seems hardly deducible.

[ocr errors]

The author's treatment of parties and of written constitutions is suggestive and illuminative. He shows deep reflection, rare insight and power of interpretation. He sees and reveals the problem with which parties have had to grapple, that of transmitting the will of the people to the government which the framers of the Constitution left to haphazard and voluntary associations. He shows that the problem of selfgovernment in America is the problem of controlling our political parties, and he traces the forces by which the rising democratic spirit has from time to time modified party processes as a means of controlling the forces that control the government. The author brings refreshing vigor and enlightenment to his treatment of the necessity of parties; of the means by which the organs, or machinery, of the party have at times become more powerful than the party itself; the need of reward for honest party managers; of party influence on nationality; of the tendency of the popular election of senators to re-establish federalism; and of the need of bringing party organization under recognized law and more democratic control.

Professor McLaughlin is a careful student of political and constitutional history, to which he resorts as the most resourceful text for expounding political philosophy and constitutional law. His essay on the social compact shows what the framers of the Constitution thought on that subject, while his study of written constitutions shows the folly of supposing that great constitutions are ever "struck off by the brain and purpose of man” at a single time. These timely essays should not be neglected by students of politics and government. They hang well together and they may be studied profitably in a college course in political science.



Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse. Le système totémique en

Australie. By ÉMILE DURKHEIM. Paris: Felix Alcan, 1912.
Pp. 649.

When, in 1896, M. Émile Durkheim and his associates began the publication of L'Année sociologique, they initiated a movement of farreaching consequence in sociological circles. It was their primary purpose, in the words of M. Durkheim, “to react against the prevailing taste for generalities and facile system-making, to afford the public and particularly youthful workers attracted by sociology an idea of what the social reality in its richness and complexity truly is, in order to deflect them from the current ideology.” The eleven volumes of the Année,

« PreviousContinue »