Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/581

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

safest, and most prosperous cities in the world. This was accomplished while national politics were kept out of city affairs. Then the people's party, under the pressure of a great national emergency, adopted a political resolution—and its usefulness was gone. In this simple fact lies a plain and impressive lesson, which is taught throughout the history; and for the sake of this lesson, if for no other reason, the study is a most valuable one.

Science Sketches. By David Starr Jordan. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co. Pp. 2'76. Price, §1.50.

Professor Jordan presents in this volume a collection of scientific essays, some of which have appeared previously in "The Popular Science Monthly" and elsewhere, the others being addresses not before published. A majority of the papers are on fishes, the study of which has been the scientific specialty of the author. Among these are "The Story of a Salmon," "Johnny Darters," and "The Dispersion of Fresh-Water Fishes." There are also three sketches of a biographical character on Darwin, "An Eccentric Naturalist" (Rafinesque), and "A Cuban Fisherman "(Poey). The other papers comprise "The Nomenclature of American Birds," "The Story of a Stone," "An Ascent of the Matterhorn," and "The Evolution of the College Curriculum." These are all of a popular character, and written in a pleasing style, though without sacrificing scientific accuracy. A list of the author's scientific papers, numbering two hundred and fourteen, is appended.

Elements of Modern Chemistry. By Adolphe Wurtz. Third American from the fifth French edition. Translated and edited by William H. Greene, M. D. With 132 Illustrations. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co. Pp. 770. Price, $2.50.

The most striking feature of this book is its comprehensiveness. The natural occurrence and extraction or laboratory preparations and the properties of the elements and their compounds are described with great fullness, and enough subjects are presented to occupy an academy or college class for at least two years. Most of the theoretical matter is included in the first fifty pages, but a few topics are inserted at later points. Nearly half of the volume is devoted to the compounds of carbon. la choosing which facts of organic chemistry to present, the author was guided by "the historical importance and the theoretical and practical interest of the compounds described." In each of the three American editions, the editor has rearranged and added to the matter in order to better adapt the work for American use. "The present edition contains additional matter embracing the more important advances of chemistry in the last three years. Among the additions may be mentioned the history of the isolation of fluorine, the monoxide of silicon, the Castner sodium process, and the electrical furnace. Wherever new investigations have shown statements accepted formerly to be erroneous, corresponding corrections have been made."

Decisive Battles since Waterloo. By Thomas W. Knox. Illustrated. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 477. Price, $2.50.

This work is designed to cover the period since 1815 in the same manner as Professor Creasy's "Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World" covered the period "from Marathon to Waterloo." The fact that Mr. Knox finds twenty-five "decisive battles" in the annals of the past seventy years, seems to indicate either that the world is not really passing out of a military into an industrial stage, as has been asserted, or that our author has been more comprehensive than discriminating. Some ground for the second alternative is given by the statement in the preface that "the book has, however, for its further purpose, the idea of presenting an outline survey of the history of the nineteenth century, considered from the point of view of its chief military events." These words describe the book better than its title, for each chapter includes, besides the account of an important battle, also a sketch of the whole campaign in which the battle occurred, and in several cases minor wars, which were marked by no battle of a decisive character, are touched upon in order to give continuity to the record. The first battle described is that of Ayacucho, in 182-1, which terminated