Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/142

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political obligations, and consequently never think of using their individual portions of political power for other than selfish ends. The boss will continue to flourish until the people get a new heart. When that day comes he will pass into innocuous desuetude.

Scientific Literature.


The climatic treatment of disease has assumed an increasing importance during the last decade, and seems destined to become an even more essential factor than the actual exhibition of drugs. Many of our common ills, especially when they occur in large cities, are primarily due to vicious and unhygienic modes of living, so that oftentimes the simple change to other surroundings will effect a cure. Besides all this, however, and the direct stimulus which lies in the change itself, there is now recognized a distinct curative effect in certain sections and climatic conditions for specific diseases. The book before us[1] is an attempt to study and systematize this subject of medical climatology so that the practitioner may have some scientific groundwork on which to base his advice to the patient. As Dr. Solly says, this sort of advice is constantly asked for, and the ordinary physician, being quite ignorant of anything like systematic knowledge of the subject, often gives directions based on hearsay or medical-journal notes which are, to say the least, not beneficial in results. The book is divided into three general sections. The first of these deals broadly with the principles of medical climatology, and shows the close connection of this science with physics, meteorology, ethnology, and geographical pathology; the second section treats of the therapeutics of climate in relation to disease; and the third section is devoted to a description of special climates as typified in selected resorts, and includes a number of comparative temperature and rainfall tables. This section is by far the largest, occupying about two thirds of the whole book, and about two thirds of this is given to the United States. There is also a brief survey of climatic conditions in Mexico and South America.

The first two sections are obviously chiefly of interest to the practicing physician, although they are so clearly and simply written as to make easy reading for the layman; but the third section, which describes the various climates and the places where they may be found, including a general survey of the comforts obtainable in the way of living accommodations, food, and the recreative possibilities, is of direct interest to the large number of chronic invalids who are looking for a palliation or correction of their symptoms through climatic agencies.

One of the points dwelt on at length is the fact that a by no means just idea of the suitability of a given district can be obtained by a simple study of its rainfall and temperature charts—the question of humidity being of perhaps more importance than either of these factors, not only largely determining its sensible heat and cold but also its insect and plant life.

  1. A Handbook of Medical Climatology. By S. Edwin Solly, M. D. Illustrated. Philadelphia: Lea Brothers and Company. Pp. 470. Price, $4.