« PreviousContinue »
missed knowing for your life. I suppose the thing I treasure most about it is
friends. Then you can't help being a little more tolerant after seeing different classes of fellows and learning their various characteristics. I respect anyone's belief now, even if it's in the white elephant.
“Well, this sense of close friendship and unity of interest with many men is more to me than anything else, because I never dreamed that it could exist. Yes, college men are different as a class from the men I would have met outside, If before I came here I had met someone who was doing something shady I would have said, Well, that's life. But if now after I get out I should run across any classmate of mine doing something crooked, it would break me up pretty badly. And, between you and me, I don't think that will happen."
W. S. RUSK.
GOVERNMENT OF THE CANAL ZONE. By George W. Goethals. Princeton
University Press. $1.00. THE MILITARY OBLIGATION OF CITIZENSHIP. By Leonard Wood.
Princeton University Press. $0.75.
These two little volumes from the Princeton University Press are as interesting to contrast as to compare. The first is concerned almost entirely with the solution of some unusual problems of government which arose in times of peace when such matters as the fortification of the Panama Canal and the Monroe Doctrine seemed hardly more than academic questions; while the second contains three addresses which General Wood has made since August, 1914, and which come like a clarion-call to his easy-going fellow-countrymen to rouse themselves from their foolhardy lethargy and make the necessary preparations for war as the best insurance of peace.
The books are alike in that they are both timely and authoritative, while delightful illustrations make the volumes doubly attractive; but they are as different as the world before and after Waterloo's centennial year.
Governor Goethals in the two Stafford Little lectures which compose his volume tells not of the engineering feats which the construction of the canal involved or the sanitary triumphs it occasioned, but of the less known difficulties to which American occupation of a strip of land ceded by a newly formed republic
The problems were doubled by the peculiar purposes to which the new territory was to be put and the fact that Panama never gave up her claim to at least a partial sovereignty over her late offspring. When to these international troubles were added the sluggish action of the American Congress in approving any but a representative government-a palpable absurdity under the circumstances — and the clumsy working of the commission at Washington with the Canal authorities, causing friction between civil and military interests, there are few readers who do not rejoice when President Roosevelt's judicious use of the “big stick” appears, and its result —"a Government by Executive Order.” Thereupon a form of government, with executive and judicial powers principally, was evolved at leisure, which now gives promise of working with increasing smoothness and efficiency; while the tariff and other matters of dispute with Panama were settled amicably and advantageously to both parties.
The first address of General Wood's volume, delivered in the spring of 1915 before the students of Princeton University and inaugurating the local preparedness movement, is a convincing arraignment of the do-nothing policy that most Americans favored until recently. Indeed, the very fact that much of the substance of the lecture is now part of our common knowledge and its warnings measurably out of date is the greatest possible compliment to its author, who by his Plattsburg scheme, his constant lecturing, and his work in and out of season for an adequate degree of preparedness, has aroused all true patriots to an active interest in matters of such importance.
A brief address before the Lake Mohonk Peace Conference, which must have caused some fluttering in the dovecote, and one before the boys of St. Paul's School (which unfortunately repeats much of the Princeton lecture) bring the volume to a close. A preface by President Hibben is included. The constantly repeated quotation from “Light Horse" Harry Lee gives the point of view of both author and sponsor : “That government is a murderer of its citizens which sends them to the field uninformed and untaught, where they are to meet men of the same age and strength, mechanized by education and discipline for
battle." This statement was based on experience in the Revolutionary War and has been more than proved in all the wars since. Yet America it just awakening!
W. S. RUSK
CIVILIZATION AND CLIMATE. By Elsworth Huntington. New Haven:
Yale University Press. $2.50 net.
In efforts to explain the growth of civilization writers like Buckle have recognized the importance of climate in determining or limiting human activities, but few if any writers of this type have gone beyond the realm of descriptive accounts and attempted to establish any scientific relation between the climate of any region and the civilization which has developed in that region. Professor Huntington has made a scientific attempt to discover the importance of the climatic factor in civilization as other authors have attempted to estimate or evaluate the influence of race, religion, or education as a cultural factor. The fundamental hypothesis of the author, as stated in his own words, is this: “To-day a certain peculiar type of climate prevails wherever civilization is high. In the past the same type seems to have prevailed wherever a great civilization arose Therefore, such a climate seems to be a necessary condition of great progress.” A climate of this type giving the necessary climatic stimulus would be one, roughly speaking, without undue extremes of seasonal temperature, either hot or cold, without deficiency or excess of humidity, combined with moderate changes in temperature from day to day. The author distinctly disclaims the intent to ignore other factors in civilization than that of climate. He simply urges that climate be accorded its due position along with the rest. Neither does he maintain that an ideal climate is the cause of a high civilization, for he clearly avers that the cause of a high civilization (in distinction from a conditioning element) is far deeper than the fact of climate.
Two lines of investigation are followed to prove the climatic hypothesis. One is by the study of the influence of present climatic activities upon human activities. Part of the material for this line of investigation is found in the records of 500 factory operatives in Connecticut cities, 3000 or 4000 factory operatives
in Southern cities, and over 1700 students at the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and the Military Academy at West Point. The efficiency of these factory operatives and students was found to vary with climatic conditions. From the various sources a map is constructed which shows the distribution of climatic energy or the climatic conditions under which men are most active and efficient in their work, both physical and mental. showing the distribution of climatic energy is compared with a map showing the present distribution of civilization and the regions of great climatic energy and stimulus are seen to correspond in a remarkable way with the regions showing the most developed civilization.
The second line of approach to test the climatic hypothesis of civilization is the study of the past. Differences between the present distribution of climatic energy and that of the past are said to be caused by the shifting of the climatic zones which in turn is caused largely by variations in the location of the storm belt. This is a vital point of criticism, as the author readily admits; for students are not yet agreed as to the reality of climatic changes. Until this supposition of climatic change is more definitely established the climatic hypothesis of civilization must remain in doubt.
A wealth of material has been collected by the author to support the thesis of the book. This varies considerably in value. At certain points there are not enough definitely determined facts to make all the links of the chain of evidence equally strong. The author frankly recognizes this and admits the provisional character of his conclusions. Yet there is enough material tending to show the probability of the conclusions reached to warrant the most thoughtful consideration. Even if man is more dependent upon nature than he first thought, the scientific realization of that fact, as Professor Huntington points out, is the first step towards freedom.
JAMES G. STEVENS.
The Stoic PhiLOSOPHY (Conway Memorial Lecture). By Gilbert Murray.
New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1915. Pp. 74.
Whether interested in philosophy or literature, religion or ethics, personal religion or social, the fairly cultured general
reader will find this delightful little book to be a small gift perhaps, but from the larger gods. All too seldom does it happen that a lecturer is at once literary, genial, witty, practical, full of insight, and gifted with the magic of personality. Professor Gilbert Murray, however, shows himself possessed of these traits in this the sixth memorial lecture in honor of the late Moncure D. Conway — American, Methodist minister, Unitarian minister, freethinker, philanthropist, cosmopolitan -a modern stoic whose memory may well be kept green in this lecture on Stoicism.
Take this as a sample of the author's power of clear-cut and simple yet eloquent interpretation : "Rank, riches, social distinction, health, pleasure, barriers of race or nation — what will those things matter before the tribunal of truth? Not a jot. Nothing but goodness is good. It is what you are that matters - what you yourself are; and all these things are not you. They are external, they depend not on you alone, but on other people. The thing that really matters depends on you, and on none but you.
From this there flows a very important and surprising conclusion. You possess already, if you only really knew it, all that is worth desiring. The good is yours if you but will it. You need fear nothing. You are safe, inviolable, utterly free. A wicked man or an accident can cause you pain, break your leg, make you ill, but no earthly power can make you good or bad except yourself, and to be good or bad is the only thing that matters." What is goodness? “It is living or acting according to Phusis [Nature], working with Phusis [Evolution] in her eternal effort towards perfection. . . . Living according to nature . ... means living according to the spirit which makes the world grow and progress.” Following this is a felicitous statement of the Stoic idea of Nature as a "law which is alive, which is itself life.” [Compare Bergson.] But the Stoic *Phusis' has more 'sense’ than Bergson's élan vital, for Phusis is purposeful, “like a foreseeing, forethinking power - Providence.”
But Nature is not all. It is but God's instrumental self: His essential Self wants coöperation from us. Say the Stoics : “God might have preferred chained slaves for his fellow-workers, but, as a matter of fact, he preferred free men." Play the Game! God "is not a fool to judge you by your mere success or failure.