National Geographic : 1898 Dec
GEOGRAPHIC LITERATURE without the strong hereditary character of civilized and enlightened men-i. e., in the words of an observing priest, they are "big children who must be treated like little ones " (page 482). The book is rather sumptuous, printed on thick paper in large type (composed in England, judging from the laboured orthography), supplied with a good map, and illustrated with excellent halftone reproductions of the author's photographs. WJM. Volcanoes of North America : A Reading Lesson for Students of Geography and Geology. By Israel C. Russell, Professor.of Geology in the Uni versity of Michigan, etc. Pp. xiv + 346, with maps and illustra tions. New York: The Macmillan Company. 1897. $4.00. It is gratifying to note that after many years of ultra-specialization a geologist and geographer has undertaken the task of summing up the knowledge of the broader features of our continent. In this work Pro fessor Russell has presented a summary of the distribution of the volca noes, living and extinct, of the North American continent, and has suc ceeded in producing a readable and admirable volume. The first quarter of the book is devoted to a discussion of the characteristics of volcanoes in general, dealing with the types of volcanic eruptions, the nature of the ejecta, the life history of eruptions, the geomorphology of volcanic forms, subterranean intrusions of igneous rocks, and classification of igneous rocks based upon mineral characters. While these subjects are ably treated by Professor Russell and would well become a text book of geology, we cannot but begrudge the valuable space they occupy, which later necessitated a condensation of his descriptions of the volcanoes themselves. It is also regrettable that the author, in illustrating the character of volcanic action, should have used so many foreign examples, when abundant material could be found at home. He need not have gone outside of North America and the adjacent Hawaiian and West India islands to have found illustrations of every known type of volcanic activ ity and productivity. We doubt if even the explosion of Krakatoa itself, which the author so freely cites, much exceeded in wide-reaching effect the tremendous catastrophe of Morne Garon, St Vincent, in 1812, which affected American geography from Chili to New Madrid, destroy ing many cities, notably Caracas. In the mud craterlets of the Sonoran coastal deserts, the frequently active Colima of southern Mexico, the numerous active volcanoes of Central America, and the volcanoes of the Aleutian and Hawaiian islands, the author could have found abundant illustrations of all known volcanic phenomena. Following the geological introduction is a compendium of the distribu tion of volcanoes of North America, active and recent, which is the best that has ever been presented. This is most instructive reading and will be exceedingly useful to the future student who will take up this subject and pursue it more extensively, for there is no more tempting or more profitable field for research on the part of some one who has means and opportunity than a systematic exploration and description of the North American volcanoes, especially those of Mexico and Central America and the Caribbee islands.