National Geographic : 1897 Feb
GEOGRAPHIC LITERATURE it is adapted to youth and because it fills a need not quite met by any previously issued text-book. After an introductory chapter the work is divided into three parts, viz., (1) Structural geology, (2) Dynamic geology, and (3) Stratigraphic geol ogy. Professor Tarr half apologizes in his preface for the space given to the second of these divisions; but he might well have spared the expla nation and even doubled this eminently practical and useful part of the treatise. The third " part" might better have been divided in name, as it is in fact, into paleontology, or the history of life on the globe, and the geographic development of the continents; for the treatment is essen tially historical and not at all stratigraphic. Then it would have been in accord with the general method of the book, which is the emphasis of the actual and the near, to give relatively more space to the life of the later ages; also, and more especially, to explain the earlier stages in geographic development of North America in terms of the later stages. Unfortunately these later stages, which are in themselves of great inter est and are now well understood, receive but little attention. The chief imperfections in the work lie in incompleteness of the treatment from the point of view of the geographer, and are due to the fact that it is a complement to the same author's " Elementary Physical Geography." In the main, the facts and principles of geology are well generalized and happily expressed. WJM. The Lessons of Erosion Due to Forest Destruction. Chart. The U. S. Depart ment of Agriculture. Washington, 1896. A part of the exhibit made by the United States Department of Agri culture at the International and Cotton States Exposition held in Atlanta during the autumn of 1895 was a series of three models representing (1) the soil destruction consequent on the removal of forests, (2) the processes required for reclamation in the same tract, and (3) the same tract as re claimed and restored to pristine fertility and productiveness. These models were carefully executed by Howell, under the direction of Bern hard E. Fernow, Chief of the Forestry division, with the co-operation of several geologists, particularly W J McGee. These models attracted much attention, and their exhibition in the region in which old-field erosion is particularly active was undoubtedly productive of much good. Recently the features of the models have been reproduced by chromo lithography in the form of a large wall-chart, for distribution among agriculturists and others. The reproduction, unhappily, is not equal to the models in accuracy of representation, and will hardly be serviceable for educational purposes save in a single direction, viz., in attracting at tention to a subject of great economic importance in many parts of the country. WJM. PreliminaryReport on the Income Account of Railways in the United States for the Year ending June 30, 1896. Interstate Commerce Commission. Pp. 68. Washington, 1896. Prepared by the Statistician to the Com mission. During the fiscal year 1895-96 the railways of the United States, having an operated mileage of 172,369 miles of line, earned in gross $1,123,646,562.