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The latest official statistics of higher education in Italy show a total registration in universities and higher technical institutes of 26,401 students in 1902. The corresponding registration in 1893 was 21,870; the highest registration for the decade was reached in 1901, viz., 27,388. The number of students in 1893 was equivalent to 7 for every 10,000 of the population, and in 1902 to 8 in every 10,000. It appears further that while the population increased during the decade by 6.4 per cent, the number of university students increased by 20.7
The official statistics of universities and higher technical schools in. Spain for 1900-on show a total registration of 14,618 students, which gives very nearly the same ratio to the population as was found for Italy; viz., 8 students for every 10,000 of the population. It should be observed that these totals include many students of secondary grade who are not counted as matriculates in the registers.
Interest in university education everywhere, it may be said, follows the Spanish flag. This has been noticed in our own recently acquired possessions, Porto Rico and the Philippines,—and is equally marked in the Spanish-speaking countries of South America. The 4,070 students in higher education reported from South America in 1900 were distributed as follows: Buenos Ayres, 2,665; Santiago, 2,000 ; Montevideo, 132; Institute of Pedagogy, Santiago, 141; medical school, Montevideo, 132. In all the Spanish-speaking countries popular education is in a backward state. In Spain itself the enrolment in the elementary schools is only 7.4 per cent of the population. In Bolivia it is as low as 2 per cent; in Chile, 4.2 per cent;, in Uraguay, 5.6, and in Argentina, 7.4.
The Prussian government appropriated for public education in 1902 a total of 158,875,087 marks ($39,717,521). Of this amount 14,625,379 marks ($2,925,076), or 9 per cent of the total, went to universities.
In his address before the British Association Sir Norman Lockyer created a profound impression by his contrasts between the lavish expenditure on higher education in the United States and the niggardly expenditure for the same interest in Great Britain.
His comparison reduced to the lowest terms stands $200,000,000 in the United States against $20,000,000 in Great Britain expended on higher education during the last few years.
The growing importance of geographical education is indicated by
the prominence given to the subject in the proceedings of the Britisha Association, and by the report of the general board of studies of Cambridge University proposing a “more comprehensive organization of geographical studies and examinations in the university.” The University of Liége, Belgium, comprises an institute of electricity, which is one of the most perfectly equipped in Europe.
Ten students under the will of Cecil Rhodes are now at Oxford ; namely, five from Germany and five from South Africa. Of the latter group all are to read for the A.B. degree, but it is reported that their tutors find difficulty in bringing them up to the standard of the matriculation examination, i. e., - Responsions.” The idea that has gained credence in some quarters that these scholarships will be used to enable students to pursue research work is discredited in England. It is, indeed, distinctly asserted that the trustees of the fund would regard such use of it as a violation of Mr. Rhodes' intentions,
A. T. S.
NOTE.—The number of books now published monthly is so large that we shall hereafter adopt the plan of promptly acknowledging by title, author, publisher and price, all books sent us for review; and later, as space is available, give more extended notice to such as seem most likely to be of interest and value to our readers.--PUBLISHERS EDUCATION.
A General History of Commerce. By William Clarence Webster, Ph.D. Ginn & Company, Boston, 1903. Pp. ix-526. Dr. Webster has succeeded in producing a splendid book on a topic which just now is attracting the attention more than any other of the secondary schools. It is, in fact, a broad introduction to the special commercial studies which are being offered in the business colleges and commercial high schools.
The author devotes 34 pages to ancient commerce, 72 pages to mediæval commerce, 104 pages to early modern commerce, 177 pages to commerce during the age of steam, and 227 pages to commerce during the age of electricity. In space he has thus preserved a proper perspective while treating the subject in its entirety. The good judgment shown in properly proportioning the sections extends to the selection of the subject matter, and as for the style in which it is delivered by the author it is noteworthy in text-book literature. It is very seldom that one finds in even the carefully prepared modern text-books the style that one expects to see in general literary books, but Dr. Webster has given us an example of what can be done. The full flow of thought that attracts and holds the attention of the reader of the book is so well preserved that one almost feels as if he had heard the author deliver his lecture in person.
The general method of treatment adopted by the author is philosophically historical, and the reasons for the condition of trade during the various periods are carefully interwoven with the facts. In this process not only are the political conditions as affecting trade presented, but as well the conditions of life that give rise to the necessity for the exchange of products.
The author has given due space to the commercial conditions pertaining to all the important commercial powers of the present time, and thus the most general relations are pointed out. There is not, however, an attempt to give the details that must be embodied in a book on existing commercial conditions whether it be in the form of commercial geography or of economic resources.
One important feature of Dr. Webster's book is the fact of the permanent value of so much of the text, it being only the latter portion that will have to be added to from time to time to keep up with the current conditions. The references at the close of each chapter are not only important as showing the author's sources, but they will serve as a guide to collateral reading for mature students and teachers, and for thesis work on the part of the pupils.
To American students perhaps the most important chapter is the one on The United States Since the Civil War," which covers what may be termed the new era in the industrial and commercial history of the country. The enforced commercial rest during the war was succeeded by a feverish activity, and many new business features were introduced by the necessities that arose as a consequence of the war. During this period from 1865 to 1900 the United States arose from the condition of producing merely for home consumption to being the foremost producing country of the world. The increase in wealth, the building of transcontinental railroads, the regulation of interstate commerce, the development of telegraphic and telephonic communication, the Isthmian canal projects, the growth of population and immigration, colonization, commercial reciprocity and unification of American interests, the tariff policy, the financial panics, the international exposition, labor organizations, legislative governing trusts, industrial commission of 1898, the establishment of the department of commerce, commercial education in the United States, New York City's commercial and financial status, development of the agricultural, forestry, mining, fishing, and manufacturing industries of the United States, comparison of the industrial progress of the United States with that of Great Britain and Germany, the industrial progress in the South, the growth of foreign trade, comparison of exports and imports, development of our domestic commerce, American shipping, a summary of the commercial advantages enjoyed by the United States,-each of these topics is treated briefly though very broadly, and in addition to the measurement, numerical where possible, of the development, the vital point as to its cause is clearly set forth. It is doubtful if any other writer has produced such a wellbalanced, succinct account of the recent commercial development of the United States; and it is particularly fortunate that it appears in a text-book, which is sure to have a wide use in our public and private schools where commercial subjects are taught.
The student or business man who reads this book through with careful thoughtfulness cannot help obtaining a grasp on the whole subject of commerce that will enable him to understand how the present conditions have come about, and to note their tendencies.
My Own Story; with Recollections of Noted Persons. By John Townsend Trowbridge. This is a thoroughly interesting, elevating and instructive book-one of the best biographies we have ever read. Mr. Trowbridge's long life has covered the period of many of the most important and dramatic events in the life of our country. His experience has been very varied and he has always wielded “the pen of a ready writer.” As correspondent, story-writer, novelist, poet, and contributor to leading periodicals, he has had a rich, full and influential literary career, and endeared himself especially to the young people of two or three generations. He is a self-made man, and the account in this volume of the primitive conditions of his boyhood days and of the adventures of his early manhood is more interesting than a novel. He began to write verses at thirteen. He left home at seventeen. At nineteen he was writing for the press in New York City. Later he went to Boston, where he was employed on The Yankee Nation, The Atlantic Monthly and other periodicals, and wrote several books. He made an extensive tour in the South after the war and wrote a book of five hundred and ninety pages, entitled “ The South: Its Battlefields, Desolated States and Ruined Cities, Its People and Prospects.” He was the author of “Cudjo's Cave," and other war stories that had their share in shaping publico sentiment and action in the great struggle of the Civil War. He knew the principal authors, poets, and statesmen, as well as generals, business men and foreign celebrities who have been the chief actors in the drama of our national life in the past seventy-five years. It is an education to read his reminiscences. It is broadening and gives one new aspirations. The style is that of a master and
there is a frankness, pureness and simplicity about his narrative that is altogether charming. The book is handsomely made, with a number of illustrations, and is published at $2.50 by Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Whoever buys and reads it will consider the money well spent.
The Jones Readers. Nos. I-V. For corresponding grades. By L. H. Jones, A.M., President Michigan State Normal College. President Jones has had a wide experience in the public schools, having been superintendent at Indianapolis, Ind., and at Cleveland, O. He has long been favorably known as one of the most scholarly and discerning of our greater superintendents. His series of readers are carefully graded to the comprehension of children of different grades. The subject-matter has been selected for its value as literature. There is nothing but good English to be found in these five splendid readers. It has been selected with marvelous discernment and sympathy with the child. The first book deals with the birds, ani ls, insects and other things in ature which the little child first notices, and in which he is especially interested. Simple sentences lead out his thought upon these subjects, which are also presented in artistic illustrations. He will find every page intensely interesting, and the study of his book will develop in him a love for nature, and he will learn to read from the interest of the thing. The selections are gradually extended to more and more complicated experiences of human thought until in the fifth book of the series we have some of the great classics of English literature, and the student is familiarized with such writers as Longfellow, Bryant, Burroughs, Carlyle, Froude, Victor Hugo, Scott, Tennyson, etc. We know of no series of books along this line which is more complete, artistic, and generally satisfactory from the standpoint of both teacher and pupil. Ginn & Co.
Special Method in History. By Chas. A. McMurry, Ph.D. This book gives a complete outline of a course of study in history for the schools below the high school. It gives an excellent idea of what may be properly aimed at in the way of historical study in each grade. As an aid to the teacher, if nothing more, the book will be exceedingly useful. Any student of history, whether a child in the public schools or an adult seeking to take up a systematic course of historical reading, would find it a most helpful guide. The Macmillan Company. Price, 75 cents.
In the series of geographical readers known as “The World and its People," Volume XII is Porto Rico, the Land of the Rich Port. By Joseph B. Seabury. This admirable series of supplementary readers has achieved a high reputation. Into the present volume is packed a large amount of information in regard to this one of the most interesting of our new possessions. It is fully illustrated with scenes from the lives of the Porto Ricans. Silver, Burdett & Co.
Ways of the Six-Footed. By Anna Botsford Comstock, B.S. This volume contains ten interesting stories of insects. The author has already achieved a reputation as an interpreter of nature, and her present book is an admirable contribution to the material of nature study, which is so popular at the present time. Most of the stories have been published in different periodicals heretofore; but they have been revised and brought together into an attractive little volume where each helps the others to make a profound impression upon the mind of the young reader. The book is prettily illustrated and bound. Ginn & Co. Price, 40 cents.