Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/128

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der of the volume is occupied with a series of experiments upon the following general topics: the mechanics of solids, the mechanics of liquids and gases, and the phenomena of sound and light. The work is written in a clear style, is neatly and fully illustrated, and is the result of four years' practical experience in the physical laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is gracefully dedicated to Prof. William B. Rogers, the founder of that institution, "as the first to propose a physical laboratory." The rapid spread of the laboratory system of teaching physics in the higher schools of this country will open a wide field of usefulness for Prof. Pickering's excellent text-book.

Civilization considered as a Science. By George Harris, F. S. A. 382 pages. Price, $1.50. D. Appleton & Co.

although the author of this volume is a lawyer, and is disposed to consider his subject very much in the light of his professional studies, that is, from the standpoint of the moral sciences, yet he accepts the broader view which regards civilization as part of the order of Nature, and as, therefore, dependent upon many sciences for its interpretation. His aim, however, is not purely scientific, that is, to analyze and generalize the phenomena of civilization; but, recognizing the government of natural law, he rather attempts a practical discussion of those agencies of civil and social advancement which are most perfectly under public control. He writes with a view to the improvement of society, rather than to the understanding or explanation of it, and his book would have been more completely described by the title "Civilization considered as a Science and an Art." Mr. Harris first inquires into the essential constitution of civilization, to determine what are its factors or the various forces and instrumentalities that have coöperated in its development. Individual enterprise, scientific discoveries and inventions, education, legislation, internal and external intercourse, religious institutions, language and literature, and racial, climatic, and geographical conditions, are all enumerated as elements of the grand result, while the various values of these several elements are considered in the successive chapters of the book. The present work is a new and revised edition of a volume that appeared several years ago. The result of his progressive studies has been, materially to modify the author's opinions on points at first held to be all-important. He at first considered that legislative measures, expressly adapted for the purpose, are the main means by which civilization has been promoted; but a careful examination of the subject soon sufficed to correct this error. The subtler and more pervasive influence of education was next fixed upon as "constituting the real efficient cause, if not the actual essence of civilization." But further inquiry convinced the author that here also he was so profoundly wrong that he regards the refutation of this fallacy as the main purpose of his work. He says: "Upon taking a comprehensive view of the whole matter, in all its different bearings, and with regard to all its varied requirements, the ultimate conclusion which I arrived at was, that which is not only really needed, but what is, in fact, in many cases, actually intended in the demands for the intellectual and moral improvement and advancement of the nation, is not education merely, but civilization generally. This principle, which has not been adopted without the fullest deliberation and the sincerest conviction of its truth, is the basis of the doctrine propounded in the following pages, and its recognition is deemed of the utmost consequence to the well-being of society. Education is, in fact, so to speak, one only out of several of the chains by which the car of civilization is drawn onward. By applying to this one alone, not only is the machine moved very feebly and very slowly, but there is considerable danger incurred of snapping the single chain."

Mr. Harris puts forth no claim to the discovery or extension of the scientific theory of civilization, but his book contains much information and many important suggestions upon the subject.

The Logic of Accounts; a New Exposition of the Theory and Practice of Double-Entry Book-keeping. By E. G. Folsom, A. M. Price $2.00. A. S. Barnes & Co.

there are two kinds of school-books upon the same subjects. One is written from the art point of view, and the other