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The first he of interest on such as the enorhigh rates when a The accumulation purely destructive

overlooked in the past. defines as the taking unproductive loans mous borrowings at nation goes to war. of interest for a purpose, he believes, is bound to result disastrously. Economic imaginaries are sums which appear on paper for taxation but which have no actual existence, when they appear twice or a score of times. The money paid for a bottle of champagne in a fashionable restaurant appears when the manager pays a tax on his gross income; it appears again in his rental, because he must pay an exorbitant rent for the privilege of charging big prices to his customers; and it appears a third time in his local taxes. Anybody who finds economics difficult to take can swallow Mr. Belloc's instructions in a most agreeable homeopathic dose.

At last we have a résumé of the modern movement in art from which the average reader can grasp the connecting link between the art of the eighteenth century and that which seems to him to be a sudden and uncalled for revolution in painting. Walter Pach in his "Masters of Modern Art" (Huebsch) has taken two epoch making events in history, the French Revolution and the Great War, which mark to him the beginning and ending of what we call the modern period in art. Instead of commencing with Courbet or Delacroix, as most contemporary writers on the subject are doing, he begins with an eighteenth century artist, Louis David, a Classicist painter of pre-Revolutionary France, and the master of Ingres. Pach traces the numerous schools and "isms" down to our present day with a clarity and simplicity which ought to appeal to a public which has heretofore not

been familiar with the background of this movement. The book is illustrated with numerous carefully chosen reproductions of paintings and sculpture, many of which have been taken from the famous collection of the late John Quinn. The frontispiece of the book is an original etching by Walter Pach, whose reputation as an artist equals his importance as one of our best critics.

In "America's Interest in World Peace" (Funk, Wagnalls) Professor Irving Fisher is out to "sell" the League of Nations, and the book in fact makes a sophisticated reader as uncomfortable as would the line of talk of an insistent salesman making his points. It resembles a campaign speech in its condensation, its resulting superficiality and unfairness. Professor Fisher does not answer the best case against the League; his arguments are meant for politicians and those whom the politicians have misled. Now it is true that mere hatred of Wilson and ordinary politics and special interests played their parts; but none of these will account for the opposition of a man like Senator Borah, or that of thousands of others, based on an informed and reasoned conviction. It is the reasoning of Senator Borah that Professor Fisher should answer and does not.

"Our Presidents", by James Morgan (Macmillan), contains in tabloid form biographies of the nation's chief executives from Washington to Coolidge. Mr. Morgan has so skilfully concentrated the historical careers of his subjects that in each chapter a complete, well balanced view is disclosed with nothing of apparent importance lost by its brevity. The work should prove a useful one.


Compiled by Frank Parker Stockbridge, Life Member of the American Library Association, in Cooperation with the Public Libraries of America

Nothing could better illustrate the catholicity of the public taste in literature than the diversified characters of the two newcomers in the fiction list for February. If "The Thundering Herd" and "In a Shantung Garden" have anything in common, it is that both possess in a high degree the elusive quality called atmosphere.

In the general list, the appearance of William Allen White's "Woodrow Wilson" was to be expected. Whatever critical partizans may say, Mr. White has at least presented Mr. Wilson as a human being, a feat which none of his numerous previous biographers had achieved. Would that there had been a William Allen White in George Washington's day, ere the wooden icon of Parson Weems had set its ineradicable stamp upon the American mind. How we do relish gossip! Witness the appearance in the Score of Major Butt's "Letters", with their backstairs impressions of another president or two. — F. P. S.

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4. Life and Letters of Walter H. Page Burton J. Hendrick

5. My Garden of Memory

6. Woodrow Wilson*

7. The New Decalogue of Science

8. The Letters of Archie Butt*

9. Life of Christ

10. The Fruit of the Family Tree 11. Etiquette

12. Galápagos: World's End

Kate Douglas Wiggin
William Allen White
Albert Edward Wiggam
Lawrence F. Abbott
Giovanni Papini
Albert Edward Wiggam
Emily Post
William Beebe

* This title has not before appeared in the Monthly Score.








Mildly Pedagogical

HREE months ago, the President


of Washington and Jefferson College said to the President of West Virginia University that he would be willing to come over and deliver the convocation address at the opening of the spring semester. He came. spoke. He raised this question: Are we living in an age of enchantment, or in an age of disillusionment? He cited instances of tried dependability in which educators of the "left" contended that so far as graduate or specialized work was concerned, the colleges might just as well close; their efforts were ineffectual, their results nil. He quoted other educators of the "right" who asserted with much show of conviction that the American college was never in a more hopeful condition. He himself said that the reason why so many students fail is to be traced not to their inability but to a wrong attitude toward studying. There is manifestly something wrong.

In the February number of THE BOOKMAN, Professor Irwin Edman of Columbia had an article which is so well known by this time that its title need not be repeated. I personally feel, however, that the opening paragraphs of this otherwise admirable essay are based on an erroneous principle.* Mr. Edman assumes that the student of today is more than ever interested in philosophy. That is excessive optimism.

*The case is of unusual interest to me, because I recall a similar enthusiasm that I myself had when I was as young as Mr. Edman.

Take Mr. Edman's own field. Let him give a course on Spinoza. If he lectures about Spinoza, I am not at all certain but that his students will park around his desk at the end of the hour and ask for more, which looks most encouraging. But from my own point of view this species of encouragement renders the case relatively hopeless. For it makes but little difference what even the brightest undergraduate thinks of or about Spinoza. The thing for the undergraduate to determine, the objective for him to keep in mind is: What did Spinoza himself think? And regardless of the admitted improvement that has been made in the writing of books, textbooks, this query can be answered only by individual effort. Moreover, it is one of the distressing facts of education that each student has to begin at the beginning precisely as if no man before him had come to see what Spinoza was driving at.

Let Mr. Edman proceed on this basis, for if he does not, the students are taking a course, not in Baruch Spinoza but in Irwin Edman. On this basis, let the assigned reading be Spinoza's own works the various treatises on ethics and mathematics. The assignments must of course be from the translated Spinoza, for no American student can read Spinoza in the original. With this method in vogue, Mr. Edman's disciples will show far less interest in "philosophy". Indeed, the more vigorous of them, the ones who are listed among the "big men on the campus", will probably assemble after the first lecture and say to each other: "Say, he doesn't really expect us to read that old bird! Why

what are we paying the University eight dollars a point for?"

Now, of this "something" that is wrong with American education, a great deal of it can be dismissed, summarily and forever, because of the unreasoned theory that numbers always suggest inefficiency and sometimes prove it. Find something that is big and you can, without searching, find the man who knows that it is bad. West Virginia, with a mere million and a half population, supports 242 high schools and academies. Other states are even more densely schooled. Where the army is big the guardhouse is full.

The real trouble with our education may be formulated as follows: The objective is the interested audience; the rarity is the thinking auditor. "Don't be dull", may be bad slang but it is regarded as good pedagogy. There is no doubt at all but that the student of 1925 wants all the advantages the college has to offer. He is wideawake. But he majors in that subject which the professor of it makes interesting. If he goes to hear a public address, he judges that address solely on the basis of whether it was read or spoken. If the speaker, in student language, stands up, speaks up, shuts up, and sits down, a favorable judgment is wafted along the ivy covered halls. If he reads a paper of unreserved merit the criticism is voluble and loud: I could do that myself.

The situation might be illustrated as follows: A really brave man goes to the dentist's chair with a query: Will it hurt? If told that it will, a little, he flinches at the mere sight of nickel plated steel. Inform even the most serious minded student that the course will require a measure of work done each day by him himself, and he flinches; he signs up for something else. The Dean of Harvard College was

asked not long since how much time the student had to put on his work outside of the classroom if he wished to pass the finals. And the Dean of Harvard College said: "None at all, if he pays attention in the classroom." We are not to hurt them; and we are to make it interesting.

This is the whole gospel of "The Decroly Class". The little ones are not to be hurt. They are to be taught to think through the medium of jeux educatifs. The great teacher is the one who understands the child mind and has the child do only what he likes to do. The environment is to be so organized as to afford perfect stimulation for the tendencies favorable to development. The child is to prepare for life by living: Primum vivere, deinde philosophari. When he reaches the stage where he is to unravel the mysteries of, say, a roll, whole wheat is to be laid before him; this is to be crushed; the resultant matter is to be mixed with water and baked. Then the child is to be taken straightway to a municipal kitchen and shown the difference, through the nibbling at professional bread, between perfect and imperfect work.

Or how does Dr. Ovide Decroly of Brussels explain to his youngsters the esoteric significance of of "shelter"? Upon one occasion they baked bricks, gathered some sod, built a house and roofed it. Then home and to bed. It was the end of a perfect day but the prelude to a tempestuous night. For on the heels of that architectural experience followed a mighty storm. The Belgian children went out the next morning only to see that their house had been destroyed: "But when they turned their glances toward the school, that was seen to have weathered the gale." Now they know what "shelter" But does not any child with


sense enough to come in out of the rain know such things instinctively?

The Decroly classroom is to be a laboratorium and not a mere auditorium. The epigram is happy, but the original author of it is Herr Kerschensteiner of Munich. The Montessori method is to be eschewed because it depends too largely on the abstract word. If the children are to study weights and measures, well and good, but they must not learn tables; let them take a healthy hare and see how its weight increases each twenty four hours as determined by the additional number of chestnuts that will have been necessary to keep the scales on the level. The children will enjoy this; and they will have in the end a better understanding of marron and lapin. John Dewey's "How We Think" is quoted liberally and with approval by "The Decroly Class".

This is all very well; but it is old stuff. Belgium is welcome to it, and is to be congratulated on having tried for herself what other nations tried years ago; for nations, like individuals, have to solve their own problems and do so by beginning at the beginning. If Spinoza had a son living today, he would have to study Father's books just as if they had been written in hermetic isolation and were just now wet from the press. But this is nothing but Kindergarten, though the word is avoided throughout "The Decroly Class" as the word "Kaiser", referring to Napoleon, was avoided during the World War when the French branch of the Metropolitan Opera sang Uhland's "Grenadiers". And however well this all may be, what is Dr. Decroly going to do when his advanced babies reach Maeterlinck? Go out and fetch in bees and bluebirds in order to put sense into his countryman's literature?

up in Petrarch's "Life of Solitude", for the inimitable sonneteer wrote his book in order to show how a man may best educate himself. It is so ably edited by Professor Jacob Zeitlin, of the University of Illinois, that comment is unnecessary. Mr. Zeitlin has done his translation well, and he has supplied the translation with all the exegesis that the normal man wants or, to draft a pedagogical pet, that the subnormal man could grasp. I can only add that a writer would be considered daft, in 1925, who would write a book of this kind: Petrarch repeats and repeats; digressions he loves; of illustrations he is as enamored as he ever was of Laura.

Petrarch wants to know, or rather he would have his readers know, the best way to use leisure. For the American people this is a momentous issue. A few years ago, a laboring man worked 72 hours a week; now he works 44. What he does with the remaining hours is poles removed from humble comprehension. There are 168 hours in a week, 56 of which should be slept off. That leaves 112 hours, 44 of which go to work. No fewer than 579 years ago, this gifted Italian was worried over the wisest way to dispose of the remaining 68 hours.

Herein lies a lesson for professors. There are at present 1,000 colleges in the United States, or about 40,000 college professors. How one tenth of these accomplish so much in so little time I have never been able to understand. But what the remaining 36,000 do with their time is an even greater wonder. They can complete the required work of any one year in about 600 clock hours. That is two months' work. What becomes of the remaining 10 months? Or if the figures seem a bit austere, make them 750 clock hours and 3 months. What becomes of the re

A not wholly dissimilar idea is taken maining 9 months? Petrarch advises

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