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NEWS AND NOTES
NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF SOCIAL WORK The central current of the discussions and deliberations at the fortyfifth National Conference of Social Work which met at Kansas City from May 15 to 22 was social reconstruction. Significant in this connection was the large place given to sociologists and social philosophers in presenting fundamental viewpoints and problems.
At the Saturday noon luncheon of teachers of sociology and others engaged in education for social work a motion was passed authorizing the appointment of a committee to arrange for meetings of this group at the next conference.
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO Professor Edward C. Hayes, of the University of Illinois, is giving courses on “General Sociology," "History of Sociology," and "Home Service and Social Work in War Time" in the first term of the Summer Quarter. The last-named course will be continued during the second term by Professor John L. Gillin, of the University of Wisconsin and director of the Division of Civilian Relief of the Central Division of the American Red Cross.
Professor Anna Garland Spencer, of the Meadville Theological Seminary, is offering courses on the social and religious aspects of education.
UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI Dr. Jessie F. Steiner has been appointed assistant professor of sociology. Professor Steiner is the director of the third institute for the training of home service held at the University from June 18 to July 27.
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY Mr. LeRoy E. Bowman, of the War Camp Community Service, is offering a course in the summer session on “Community Organization.”
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS Professor E. H. Sutherland, of William Jewell College, is giving courses on "The Social Survey” and “Rural Sociology” in the summer school.
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY Professor James E. Hagerty is serving as director of the division of markers of the state branch of the Council of National Defense.
PENNSYLVANIA MILITARY COLLEGE Dr. Charles J. Bushnell has accepted the position of professor of sociology and economics.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA In the summer session Dr. G. R. Davies is giving a course in charities which takes up the study of general relief work and home service with special emphasis upon the problems arising in connection with the war.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Professor George E. Howard, of the University of Nebraska, is offering the following courses in the summer session: “Problems in Social Psychology and Ethics” and “Biography of American Statesman
Mrs. Alice Stebbins Wells, president of the International Association of Police Women, is conducting a training class for police women in the summer session.
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN During the last semester Professor E. A. Ross conducted a seminar course entitled “Social Progress and Regress.” During the summer session Mr. W. F. Hintzman is directing the course in Red Cross Civilian Relief.
A New Basis for Social Progress. By W. C. WHITE and L. A.
HEATH. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1917. Pp. 215. $1.25.
Just a hundred years ago Thomas Chalmers, then minister of the parish of St. Johns, Glasgow, wrote:
There is an impatience on the part of many a raw and sanguine philanthropist for doing something great; and, akin to this, there is an impatience for doing that great thing speedily. They spurn the condition of drivelling among littles; and unless there be a redeeming magnificence in the whole operation of which they bear a part, there are some who could not be satisfied with a humble and detached allotment in the great vineyard of human usefulness . ... and in by far the greater number of instances will it be seen that instead of concentrating their exertions upon one district or department of the city, they expatiate at large and over the face of its entire territory, recognizing no other boundary than that which lies indefinitely but fully beyond the final outskirts of the compact and contiguous dwelling-places.....
That principle as laid down in the "Christian and Civic Economy of Large Towns” is unconsciously reaffirmed (or at least unacknowledged) by the joint authors of this volume under review. They phrase it as "a unit equipment for a unit of population.” The main difference is that they make the university pivotal, while in Dr. Chalmers' scheme the parish church was the hub. Chalmers was attacking waste in charity and its resultant pauperization. Dr. White attacks primarily waste and lack of real scientific vision or purpose in education, but includes eventually the whole range of community interests. His thesis in brief is that city life can thrive only by developing "autonomic units of population" each with a complete equipment for education, health, and welfare. Such units are to be determined by a perennial survey and census conducted by a municipal foundation to be located by preference in the graduate school of a local university or in the city government or a chamber of commerce, etc. These local foundations will work out the educational, health, and other agencies necessary to meet the vocational demands and peculiar bent of their communities. Since, however, certain needs of the community could only be met by combining into larger units, a scheme of regional correlation is provided, leading ultimately to a supreme educational court of seven members “before which arguments for justice might be presented and by which the evil of autocracyperhaps the greatest in modern university life—might be presented."
This book grew out of an abortive "survey" of the University of Pittsburgh, but it has a certain general interest for educational administration and community organizers. It does not always escape the temptation to intemperate language born in part of its local origin. It slaps hard the ecclesiastical college tradition and the wasteful competition between church-supported schools; it smites the autocracy of presidents and boards of trustees, while arguing with vigor for representation of faculties and students in university management. It tilts at educational quackery and fads, but falls into a pitfall of its own digging in the overworking of the idea that chemical analysis of human glandular products may offer us the key to understanding human psychology and proper educational procedure!
Either misprints or a faulty use of words (“numerable,” p. 37; "effects," "latitudinarian," p. 45; "emitted," p. 51, etc.) mark the text here and there. The publishers through a reprehensible oversight have been advertising the authors as "engaged in making the widely known Pittsburgh Survey.” This book has nothing whatever to do with the real Pittsburgh Survey.
There is much to be said for the authors' vision of a mighty progressive nation of university units, and no doubt such a social organization would promote the substance of real democracy while securing efficiency in administration. But so long as a supreme court by a margin of one vote declares it unconstitutional to regulate child labor as between states, I am not very hopeful of the immediate realization of this educational utopia.
ARTHUR J. TODD UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
The Theory and Practice of Mysticism. By CHARLES MORRIS
ADDISON. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1918. Pp. viii + 216. $1.50.
This volume presents in an untechnical and intimate manner an account of the stages of the mystic way with illustrations from the lives and writings of the great mystics. “The Longing for God," "The Way toward God,” and “The Meeting Point” are the titles of the chapters which describe the aims and the methods of mystical contemplation. A chapter on “Modern Mysticism” shows how this temper of mind is found in philosophers like Bergson and in poets like Wordsworth and Browning
The author is an ardent advocate of this type of religion and evidently speaks out of very vivid personal experience. Like most mystics, appreciation and practice are more congenial to him than analysis, though this book is free from a certain dogmatism and zeal so native to its class. The last chapter, “Practical Mysticism,” is a frank appeal and exhortation to the practice of mysticism, with some directions for the same.
The book is well suited to the general reader. It furnishes a short, reliable introduction to the subject. However, a novice might easily receive an exaggerated impression as to the extent to which modern philosophers and psychologists, such as William James, support the mystic's claims. The well-selected quotations in the text and the footnotes, with the references to books at the end of each chapter, invite one to go on from these pages to the extensive literature of the subject which is rapidly increasing at the present time.
E. S. AMES UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Man's Supreme Inheritance. By F. MATTHIAS ALEXANDER. New
York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1918. Pp. xvii+354. $2.00.
Man's Supreme Inheritance is a plea for conscious control of the human organism as opposed to current psychotherapeutic methods which make their appeal to the subconscious part of the mind, i.e., to feeling-tone instead of to reason. The latter methods, such as suggestion, hypnotism, faith healing, the author regards as “dangerous in practice and uncertain in results," since they merely substitute "one uncontrolled habit of thought for another” (p. 50). They “seek to reach the subjective mind by deadening the objective or conscious mind, and the backbone of my theory and practice, upon which I feel that I cannot insist too strongly, is that the conscious mind must be quickened" (p. 52). Instead of wholesale commands to a "supposed omniscient subconscious self” the author would appeal to peoples' intelligence (p. 54). The author is equally out of sympathy with an education based on uncritical tradition, such as the emphasis on right- or left-handedness, and with the "free expressionists" who would leave everything to the