Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/582

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

reason which evidently to us pervades the universe, and is that by which our intellect has been both produced and illumined."

A large amount of information, mainly of a practical character, has been gathered by Mr. William J. Clark in his book on Commercial Cuba[1]—information, as Mr. Gould well says in the introduction he has contributed to the work, covering almost the entire field of inquiry regarding Cuba and its resources. The data have been partly gained from the author's personal observation and during his travels on the island, and partly through laborious and painstaking classification of existing material, collected from many and diverse sources. The subject is systematically treated. The first chapter—How to Meet the Resident of Cuba—relates to the behavior of visitors to the island, really a considerably more important matter than it would be in this country, for the Spaniards are strict in their regard for correct etiquette. It is natural that a chapter on the population and its characteristics and occupations should fellow this. Even more important than correct behavior—to any one at least but a Spaniard—is the subject of climate and the preservation of health; and whatever is of moment in relation to these subjects is given in the chapter devoted to them. Next the geographical characteristics of Cuba are described, and the facilities and methods of transportation and communication; also social and political matters, including government, banking, and commercial finance, and legal and administrative systems of the past and future. A chapter is given to Animal and Vegetable Life, another to Sugar and Tobacco, and a third to Some General Statistics, after which the several provinces—rinar del Rio, the city and province of Havana (including the Isle of Pines), and the provinces of Matanzas, Santa Clara, Puerto Principe, and Santiago—are described in detail, with their physical characteristics, their agricultural or mining resources, their various towns, and whatever else in them is of interest to the student of economics. A Cuban Business Directory is given in the appendix.

A Collection of Essays is the modest designation which Professors J. C. Arthur and D. T. MacDougal give to the scientific papers included in their book on Living Plants and their Properties[2] The authors deserve all praise for having taken the pains without which no book composed of occasional pieces can be made complete and symmetrical, to revise and rewrite the articles, omitting parts "less relevant in the present connection," and amplifying others "to meet the demands of continuity, clearness, and harmony with current botanical thought." Of the twelve papers, those on the Special Senses of Plants, Wild Lettuce, Universality of Consciousness and Pain, Two Opposing Factors of Increase, The Right to Live, and Distinction between Plants and Animals, are by Professor Arthur; and those on The Development of Irritability, Mimosa—a Typical Sensitive Plant, The Effect of Cold, Chlorophyll and Growth, Leaves in Spring, Summer, and Autumn, and the Significance of Color, are by Professor MacDougal. Based to a large extent on original investigations or careful studies, they present many novel thoughts and aspects, and constitute an acceptable addition to popular botanical literature.

Having described the great and growing interest taken in child study, President A. R. Taylor announces as the principal aim of his book, The Study of the Child,[3] to bring the subject within the average comprehension of the teacher and parent. Besides avoiding as much as possible technical terms and scientific formulas, the author has made the desire to announce new principles subservient to that of assisting his fellow-workers to a closer relationship with the child. As teachers and parents generally think it extremely difficult to pursue the study of the child without at least a fair understanding of the elements of psychology, the author intimates

  1. Commercial Cuba. A Book for Business Men. By William J. Clark. Illustrated. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 514, with maps.
  2. Living Plants and their Properties. A Collection of Essays. By Joseph Charles Arthur (Purdue University) and Daniel Trembly MacDougal (University of Minnesota). New York: Baker & Taylor. Minneapolis: Morris & Wilson. Pp. 234.
  3. The Study of the Child. A Brief Treatise on the Psychology of the Child, with Suggestions for Teachers, Students, and Parents. By A. R. Taylor. New York: D. Appleton and Company. (International Education Series.) Pp. 215. Price, $1.50.