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has the quality and atmosphere of the classical tradition of Roman Catholic piety. Lieutenant Borsi, after a youth of ease and literary interests, turned to the religion in which he had been confirmed and produced these meditations as his experience of the war deepened. In addition to the characteristic notes of renunciation, distrust of learning, wealth, and sensuous pleasure, there are expressions of the patriotism and struggles of an enthusiastic patriot and soldier. The writings are mystical and yet marked by a frank and fervent attempt to come to terms with a mode of life quite remote from the cloister. In the pages which deal with his reflections upon the war there is the sense of tragedy over the loss and conflict involved, but there is also an intense faith in the ideal and spiritual significance of it all. He exclaims, “How guilty a world must be in which this terrible law of death and blood must still prevail. Into what an abyss of abjection have we fallen!” The author craves the boon of death upon the battlefield and looks forward to it as the crown of his short but intense life. In a letter to his mother just before the end he cries, “I am not to be mourned but envied."
The book is an expression of vivid and sincere efforts on the part of a cultivated and sincere soul to express the moods produced by the great events of the war. If one is able to read the book as a human document, overlooking at times the conventional religious phrases, it will furnish a vivid and appealing example of human nature wrestling with the great problems created in this world-war. The fact that the book has already had an extensive circulation in the author's country and is now translated for a wider circle of readers indicates the strength of its appeal and the quality of its literary finish.
E. S. AMES UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
The Polish Peasant in Europe and America. By WILLIAM I.
THOMAS and FLORIAN ZNANIECKI. Boston: Richard G. Badger, 1918. Vol. I. Pp. xi+ 526. Vol. II. Pp. vi+589. $10.00.
These volumes are the first of a series of five devoted to a study of the Polish peasant, or rather utilizing the Polish peasant as a means for developing a certain method of studying sociological problems. This method is explained in the Methodological Note which occupies the first 86 pages of the first volume; briefly stated, it consists in the application of a rational technique to the working out of social problems the solution of which is essential to human welfare and progress. As the authors say, the work is “largely documentary” and consists of compilations and transcripts of many series of letters written by members of the group in question in the two countries.
One finds it difficult in these strenuous war times to conceive that anyone ever had time to read such an enormous mass of detailed material, to say nothing of getting it ready for other people to read. Nevertheless one recognizes at once that this is just the way these things ought to be studied, and that this work is a valuable contribution to a muchneglected and very important field of research. We in this country have stubbornly closed our eyes to the significance of race mixture and the mingling of cultures. The whole question of social assimilation has received astonishingly little scientific attention. Some have maintained that the question was wholly biological, others that it was entirely a question of changing customs. Few have sought to apply to it the only scientific method of approach, that of inductive investigation. It is to be hoped that this series will be the forerunner of many similar studies of the foreign elements in our population.
The portion of these volumes which will be most read is the 200-page Introduction, which gives a remarkably vivid picture of a semimodernized group of people in their native habitat. It is the transference of this people to the different social environment and life-conditions of the United States and the adaptive processes involved which occasion the problem of the Polish immigrant. In so far as this work contributes to an understanding of the nature of this problem and the methods of handling it, it will be of the greatest value, not only because of the importance of the Poles themselves in our national life, but because the principles worked out in the case of the Poles can be applied to many other immigrant groups.
HENRY P. FAIRCHILD NEW YORK
Old Worlds for New. A Study of the Post-Industrial State. By
ARTHUR J. PENTY. London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1917. Pp. 186. $1.60.
The title of this book was probably selected with reference to New Worlds for Old, by Mr. H. G. Wells, which is a defense of socialism; for Mr. Penty has renounced socialism and come to the conclusion that it would perpetuate most of the evils of industrialism, besides bringing in a few of its own. Collectivism, he maintains, would exploit the producer in the interest of the consumer and, owing to its materialism and neglect of the spiritual and ethical elements in man, would make the worker a mere instrument for the realization of mechanical efficiency. Nevertheless the present system cannot be allowed to endure. It must give way to an adaptation of the guild system of the Middle Ages. Industry should for the most part be carried on by small groups of independent producers, who will set before themselves the supreme aim of quality rather than of quantity. This means that large industrial units, and to a considerable extent machinery itself, must be abolished. Only thus will the workers come to have the status of men instead of instruments of production. In the opinion of Mr. Penty big business is really efficient in only a few lines of production, and in a very large part of the field it will be better for humanity to discard the machines and sacrifice quantity to quality. When this change has been made and the independent worker is once more the center and the chief consideration we shall see a revival of artistic aims, ideals, and products throughout the industrial world.
Put into the form of this bald summary, the propositions of the book will probably strike the average reader as not merely "mediaeval” but antediluvian. This would be emphatically a rash judgment. The majority of those who read the book with open and sympathetic minds will not indeed accept the author's main thesis, but they will probably be inclined to admit that he has written a disquieting criticism of many features and assumptions of the industrial system which we have been accustomed to take for granted. His reasoning will at least compel the discriminating reader to consider seriously whether our great industries do not of necessity kill initiative, the joy of work, and the sense of artistry in the workers, making them veritable slaves of the machines that they serve.
JOHN A. RYAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA
The War and the Coming Peace. By MORRIS JASTROW, JR., Ph.D.,
LL.D. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1918. Pp. 144. $1.00.
The unscrupulous imperialistic designs of Germany in the Near East have been outlined by Dr. Jastrow in a former book, The War and the Bagdad Railway. This later work, which is in a sense a companion volume, deals with the moral questions underlying the whole German policy. In “The War as a Moral Issue,” which is the first of two essays comprising the book, the moral issue is stated as "the recognition on the part of the world that an attempt to carry out national policies through the appeal to force, or even by the threat of force, is a cardinal sin against the moral conscience of mankind." In the second essay, “The Problem of Peace,” the thought made familiar by President Wilson is developed, that no peace can be more than a truce if the terms agreed upon ignore fundamental moral issues, and that the highest morality among nations can come only as nationalism is subordinated to internationalism.
While the volume contains little that is new either of information or of philosophy, it is stimulating and inspirational. The point of view presented is one which must prevail if the nation is to keep its moral balance in the hour of triumph.
EARLE E. EUBANK YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION COLLEGE
Democracy after the War. By John A. HOBSON. New York:
Macmillan, 1918. Pp. 215. $1.25.
The love for fairy tales often lingers on beyond childhood into maturity. But John A. Hobson, the sturdy rationalist, is not one of those suffering from such prolonged adolescence. Nor is this, his latest book, likely to offer solace to such naïve subscribers to the cult of illusion as believe that the present Great War or its termination is going automatically to usher in the millennium of democracy, internationalism, and permanent peace. Indeed, two-thirds of the book is given over to a searching analysis of the forces of reaction which threaten to neutralize all the potential good which the war might bring to democratic civilization.
His thesis is that capitalistic society has got itself into a vicious circle which, unless broken, must inevitably rob the world of the fruits of a democratic peace; for the issue is capitalism versus democracy always and everywhere. Because of the intimate relationship between capitalism and militarism, which makes of the military machine an agency, not only for protecting capitalistic interests abroad, but also for subjugating the laboring population at home, and because of the great prestige which this prolonged war is likely to bring to militarism, we are faced with an urgent situation, in the course of which the enemies of democracy, economic, political, religious, and intellectual, are likely to combine to sow the seeds of future strife between the nations and to fasten a system of caste and bureaucracy upon a tired people. While Hobson frankly accepts the main outlines of the general socialistic analysis and of the economic interpretation of history, yet he specifically avoids what he points out to be the fatal socialist mistake of damaging its appeal to rational persuasion "by an excessive simplification of the problem and in particular by ignoring or disparaging the importance of non-economic factors.” Moreover, Hobson takes a strong stand against the idea that progress may happen by chance or destiny, working without the conscious will or effort of man. Real democracy, he insists, cannot be achieved without a sufficient amount of intelligent co-operation based upon clear purpose. Hence the vicious circle made by “the confederacy of antidemocratic forces of which militarism is the physical instrument" will not suddenly break of itself but must be destroyed through the combination of various efforts. First, there must be a unity of action among all the specialized reformers, whether in education, or social hygiene, or public health, or franchise, or taxation. The friends of democracy must line up solidly against the confederacy of reaction. Secondly, there must be democracy in industry, which alone can assure that larger industrial productivity necessary to secure the minimum of prosperity which is basic to steady progress. Again, we shall be faced with an enlarged control by the state of industry; therefore the state must be conquered for democracy. This does not mean simply an extension of the franchise, but rather a political system by which “men fairly representative of the common interests of the people" shall be substituted "at the focal points for the present guardians of class interests." Education is the key to this new political and economic democracy. Democracy must therefore prepare for two great struggles, the one against the attempt, not unknown in America, to trim down the national expenditure on human culture while enlarging the subsidies for technical and utilitarian instruction; the other against the attempt to degrade such human culture as is provided by the educational system through the "intrusion of sedatives and stimuli devised for interested purposes of defence.” From certain allusions in the book it is perfectly apparent that in some parts of this analysis the author is thoroughly imbued with the work of Veblen. This is particularly clear in his treatment of the newspaper, sport, and certain forms of religious organization and education.