THE author tells us that his work on the *Lessons of the World- War sprang out of two courses of lectures which he delivered in London during 1915 and 1916. The second and more detailed course, given at the Birkbeck College, is virtually reprinted here with certain additions, particularly Chapter XIV. which was written in July, 1917. The British censorship delayed publication until December, 1917. M. Hamon, however, tells us that his is a scientific work, whose value is independent of the date of publication." M. Hamon is introduced to us in a generous and characteristic note by Professor Geddes. For many years he was editor of the Franco-Belgian review L'Humanite Nouvelle. Probably he was best known before the War for his indictments of militarism. But his pacifism did not prevent him from embracing the cause of the Allies with enthusiasm. He has no doubt that militarism is incarnate in Prussia to a superlative degree. His com- ments, however, are singularly free from vindictiveness. The German is to him an automaton produced by a system rather than a demon delighting in evil for its own sake. The task proposed in this book-the setting out of the lessons of the War from a purely sociological point of view- could hardly be achieved (as Professor Geddes hints) 1. with full contemporary success." The problem is admirably stated in the Preface. We may at once agree that- The World-War is destined to play so great a part in the evolu- tion of the human race that one may well ask whether there has in the past been any event of equal gravity and importance." The sociological interpretation of this event is a prodigious task, however lax we may be in our definition of sociology. The author gives us a detailed framework for such a study. He brings out, often with great in- genuity, the political, social and economic implications Lessons of the World-War," by Augustin Hamon, translated by Bernard Miall, with an introduction by Patrick Geddes. T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd., London. Pp. 438. 16s. net. Lecturer in Economic History University of Edinburgh. Late one night, borne on the high wind From the sable forest shade, Heard I muffled sounds of horses Stepping in a cavalcade. And my youthful soul in anguish Cried aloud as ne'er before. For some dreadful form did tarry Beckoning at my chamber door. On the morrow through the lattice As I turned my weary gaze. Drifting onward ever onward Through the cold gray western haze, THE WELSH OUTLOOK (B.) LESSONS OF THE WORLD WAR. A VISION of the War. No reader can fail to get new light on some aspect of the subject from his treatment. Here and there M. Hamon reveals a philosophy which would warrant him in assuming a much more severe air of detachment. He writes "The World-War is only an effect of universal determinism The German rulers who unleashed it are its unconscious agents They are like an avalanche rolling down the slope of a mountain pushing and dragging down the trees and houses in its passage. And just as men felt no hatred for the avalanche, so they should feel no hatred for the Germans, those unconscious authors of the butchery which for two and a half years has drenched the world in blood. They could not do otherwise than they have done, all the conditions being what they have been." Like Buckle M. Hamon has found that to make any kind of a science of human action the assumption that conduct is determined by forces beyond man's control is invaluable. There is, according to him, a process working through history towards a world-wide federation of the nations and universal and total disarmament. The alliance will be so extensive that fiscal protection will be unthinkable. The more orthodox readers need not quarrel with him. They may reflect (many of them) that the process is going to achieve more enlightened purposes than they, with unpardonable presumption, ascribe to God. A sociology based on determinism and claiming the attributes of a science ought to throw a very definite light on the future. M. Hamon acknowledges this and attempts in the last chapter, written at a later date, to shew that his forecasts have been true. Based as they are on logical deductions from facts he claims that they could not be otherwise. But one must admit that his prophesies have no startling quality. He anticipated that more powers would join the Entente, but he did not venture to set any term to the duration of the War. In the supplementary chapter he is less discreet. He asserts that the War cannot be protracted beyond 1918. We must wait and see, an attitude which despite the opprobrium levelled at it is in fact the quintessence of wisdom. F. Rees. Saw I all those youthful fancies That had e'er been dear to me. Rolling onward, rolling westward To some dread oblivious sea. And the night wind in the branches Wafts the bitter truth to me I had witnessed-all unknowing- My youth pass at twenty-three. R.A.R.
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