Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/499

This page needs to be proofread.


The Green Bag

and politics, indeed, are not one, nor are bench and bar legislators. Nevertheless, opinions as to the end and purpose of government and of laws are amongst the sources of our law, which in one form or another find common expression in judicial decisions. In America the wide range of constitutional law brings these opinions before the student with great frequency; and he thus acquires, in his

legal education, a .political bias which carries him very far from the current views of the day. Judgments which are frankly based on political doctrines which were orthodox in the eighteenth century, but are now branded as 'con servative' or 're-actionary,' widen the breach between profession and public; they sometimes very seriously impair the understanding of legislation."

Reviews of BooJ^s ADAMS'



The Theory of Social Revolutions. By Brooks Adams. Macmillan Co., New York. Pp. 240. ($1.25 net.) THERE can be no doubt," writes Mr. Brooks Adams, "that modern civilization has unprecedented need of the administrative or generalizing mind." This need of what may be called the synoptic as opposed to the specializing mind is as great in science as in the practical departments of commerce and statesmanship; intellects are needed which can co-ordinate the results of research in special fields. The theme of the book before us, that of social revolutions, is one of those complex topics which are not to be handled satisfactorily by the political scientist, the economist, or the psychologist work ing alone at his particular specialty. It calls for treatment by a mind capable of understanding and correlating the fruits of several different sciences. And Mr. Adams approaches the task with this purpose of making a comprehensive survey. He writes a book dealing largely in generalization, but the matter of which consists to a great extent of his torical illustrations. In a book of not

much more than two hundred uncrowded pages, making copious use of historical discussion, it is difficult to make great headway in elucidating the complicated principles that govern social catalysms. In a vivid retracing of the record of the French Revolution, for example, it is impossible, without taking much more space than a book of this land permits, for the author to make a searching analysis of the underlying causes of that prodigious movement. It is likewise impossible for him to set forth, with anything like thoroughness, the data of observation from which his generaliza tions are drawn. This book deals largely in generalization, but the reader gets rather hazy notions of the meaning of principles that are not to be taken for granted, but demand fuller exposition to make them clear. Mr. Adams' treat ment is to be commended for its attempted breadth of survey, but it would have been more persuasive if its author could have shown himself pos sessed of a nicer feeling for detail. A closer attention to detail would doubt less also have guarded against some errors and distortions, and likewise have aided the reader to gain clearer impressions of the writer's ideas.