National Geographic : 1905 Jun
308 THE NATIONAL GE such an extent that they are scarcely more than "labored ingenuities. " Many of them are utterly beyond the capacity of children of the age of those who are expected to study this book. So far as the publishers' part goes, the maps are of the best workmanship, ex cept that the contrast of colors in the physical ones is not so marked as it should be. But in spite of these weaknesses there is hardly a' volume the equal of this for developing the thinking powers of the pupils, and hence is the best this re viewer knows of. C. M. The United States of America. By Edwin E. Sparks. 2 volumes, maps. Pp. xi + 425 ; vii + 385. Illustrated. New York: G. R. Putnam's Sons. 1904. This is a most welcome and valuable addition to The Story of Nations' series. It commences with the treaties of peace in 1783 and traces the evolutionary stages through which the United States passed, from a confederacy of republics to its present status as a powerful na tion, clothed with all powers needful for its progress and preservation. Perhaps the most interesting chapters are those outlining the fundamental bases on which centralization has been effected. Therein Prof. Sparks clearly indicates the most potent lines of action and their specific effects. The Jeffer sonian ordinance of 1784 with unquali fied suffrage, the erection of the back lands into equal independent states, the home-making public-land system, the light-house and post-route policies, the assumption of the states' debts, the entrustment of the militia to executive control, the appropriations for scientific purposes, the adoption of excise and tariff measures, and the construction of the general welfare clause of the Consti tution are given due weight and con sideration. As to the later phases of our national history, the chapter on profit-sharing and paternalism, on abolitionism and OGRAPHIC MAGAZINE colonization, and the passing of strict constitutional construction throw in structive side lights on the march of events. National industrial development is too currant and political a topic for purely historical treatment, and from the nature of the case cannot be uni versally accepted. Altogether, the literary style, subject matter, and method of treatment are excellent. There is not a dull chapter in either volume. A.W.G. Grundriss der Handelsgeographie. von Dr Max Eckert (Privatdozenten der Erdkunde an der Universitat Kiel). Pp. xv + 517. 9x6 inches. Leip zig: G. J. Goschen'sche Verlags handlung. 1905. This is a very comprehensive sum mary of facts rigidly based on the great causal notions of geographic develop ment. Following a simple and uniform plan, our author treats the continents and then the countries of the world, first giving a brief view of the land and the people of each, then the natural re sources, then the industries and occu pations, and, finally, communication and trade. The three great divisions of the material world, plants, animals, and minerals, are in each case described, with the next section pointing out the industries that have sprung up in that country, but he leaves the student to supply the links of connection; and that brings up one serious defect of the work. It is a frightfully dry compila tion of names and figures, unrelieved by any graces of expression or interest ing incidents. It is difficult to see what place it would fill in education, as it is too heavy for American students, and many of the statements are annually superseded by almanacs or hand books. It is not sufficiently scientific to be ac cepted as an authority in itself, since the sources of information are not often given. For general style and interest it is much inferior to the International Geography. C. M.