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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/141

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131
SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE.

types of dual monarchies." Russia might have been presented as having a place apart in European politics, but the book was full. The work has been prepared in the belief that "our own institutions can be understood and appreciated only by those who know other systems of government as well and the main facts of general institutional history." The accounts of the particular systems of government are followed by short chapters on the Nature and Forms of Government; Law, its Nature and Development; the functions and the objects of government; and summaries, in which the conclusion is expressed that law grows with the growth of the community, can not leap too far ahead of it, and must not lag behind it; and that "the method of political development is conservative adaptation, shaping old habits into new ones, modifying old means to accomplish new ends."

Mr. H. E. Parkhurst has made in his How to Name the Birds[1] a book on a different plan from the other books about birds that are now appearing so abundantly—not to rival them, but to serve as an introduction to their more genera! use. It is intended to aid the field ornithologist in determining an unknown species, by calling his attention to their more obvious features and those more distinguishable from a distance than those which observers using the ordinary bird books have to depend on as a means of recognition. Color is chiefly relied upon, and, as a further means of finding the birds, they are grouped by the seasons, when they may be seen in a given locality—the summer, winter, migrant, and permanent birds, and birds of prey. The first four groups are subgrouped according to color, and the larger color groups are further subdivided. Other devices and signs are contrived, so that a complete description of the bird, as it will appear to the amateur watching it from a little way off, is given in three or four lines. To this a brief comment is added regarding the nesting and habits of the bird. These descriptions are preceded by an analytical key similar to the botanical keys; and the study is aided by giving three pages of diagrams illustrating the distinctive areas of the bird's body, to which reference is made in describing the colors, stripes, and spots. The list comprises only those birds that are normally found within the territory described in the title as regular summer or winter visitants, as migrants, or as permanent species.

A very important contribution to the economy of city administration is the quarterly Supplement to Municipal Affairs, June, 1898, in which the late superintendent of street cleaning in the city of New York, George E. Waring, Jr., presents his observations on street-cleaning methods in European cities, and general reports of his own work in that line. The observations in Europe, made in the summer of 1896, in a special study of the subject, for the information and improvement of Mr. Waring's own department, include accounts of the conditions as to cleanliness and the methods of doing the work in Vienna, Budapest, Munich, Berlin, Cologne, Brussels, London, Birmingham, Paris, Turin, and Genoa. Mr. Waring finds that the regulations under which the streets are really kept clean in those cities are no better than ours; "but there is the immense difference that in Europe laws and ordinances mean something and are executed, while here they are treated as mere matters of form." The reports of Mr. Waring's own work in New York embrace a review of the general operations of the department, the report of the snow inspector, and an account of the highly successful plan for the adjustment of labor questions instituted by Mr. Waring.

Mr. Lauros G. McConachie, in the study and development of legislative methods which he publishes under the title of Congressional Committees (T. Y. Crowell & Co., New York, $1.75), assumes that a complete breakdown of parliamentary machinery took place on the floors of Congress under the sudden and vast augmentation of legislative burdens which our senators and representatives had to confront after the civil war. Two schools of reformers came to the front, one of which held up the British parliamentary system as a model and directed attention abroad in the search for light; while the


  1. How to Name the Birds. A Pocket Guide to the Land Birds and to the Principal Water Fowl normally found in the New England States, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, for the Use of Field Ornithologists. By II. E. Parkhurst. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 115. Price, $1.