National Geographic : 1900 May
GEOGRAPHIC LITERATURE North American Forests and Forestry. By Ernest Bruncken. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1900. This book deals more particularly with the relation of the forest problem to the natural life of the American people. With this object in view, Mr Bruncken's choice of subjects and the general outlines of his treatment are in most respects admirable. After a brief introduction, in which his purpose is defined, he begins with a discussion of the North American forests, of the re lation between man and the forests of this country,of forest industries, and of the destruction and deterioration of the forests. He is then ready to deal with the nature and object-matter of forestry, the finance and management of forest lands, the relation of forests to the government, and the difficulties which beset the practice of forestry (conservative lumbering) in the United States. A final chapter, which will be much read by the numerous young men who are turn ing their attention to this new line of possible work, treats understandingly of forestry as a profession. Mr Bruncken's book is much better calculated than any other with which I am acquainted to convey a correct general idea of the forest problems of the United States. He has seized the principal facts in the situation with intelli gence and has set them forth in a way easily understood. If there is to be criticism of so useful a book, it should be directed chiefly against the fact that the author's conception of the forest problems of the United States is much too strictly limited by his acquaintance with those of the white pine states about the headwaters of the Mississippi. It is to be regretted also that there is a lack of accuracy in detail. For example, the silvicultural notes in the second chap ter are much too frequently based on the facts of European rather than of American forests, or upon an imperfect knowledge of the latter. There is a similar lack of precision in many parts of the book. However, since Mr Bruncken expressly says that his book is not intended for professional foresters, the blemish of such misconceptions is less great than it would otherwise be. On the whole, Mr Bruncken's book promises well both for its own present utility and for the future work of the writer. GIFFOR) PINCIrOT. Tarr and McMurry's Geographies. First book. Home Geography and the Earth as a Whole, By Ralph S. Tarr and Frank M. McMurry. Small 8vo, pp. xv + 279. New York and London: The Macmillan Co. 1900. 60 cents This little book, the first of a series of geographical text-books, is an attempt to combine the inductive and deductive methods in the teaching of geography. The first 107 pages are devoted to developing, from the home surroundings, a knowledge of the formation of soils, mountains, valleys, and rivers, the phe nomena of the sea and air, and, finally, industries and government. With all this as a preface, the remainder of the book is a description of the earth as a whole and of its parts, much as in the older elementary geographies. The style throughout is admirably adapted to holding the child's interest, while impacting information. The text is freely supplemented with questions and suggestions, and the numerous maps and cuts are very illustrative and finely executed. It will be interesting to learn the measure of success attained by this experi ment in geographic text-books. If unsuccessful, it will be a failure of the prin ciple, not of the form, for the latter is in all respects nearly faultless.