Review of Aspects of the Social Problem
Aspects of the Social Problem. Edited by BERNARD BOSANQUET. Macmillan & Co., 1895. viii+332 pp. $1.00.
"THOUGH the public mind is full of the problems of social reform, it is remarkable how little literature, combining trained observation in the social field with reasonable theory, is available for the general reader. The present volume of studies has been brought together with the view of helping to fill this gap, and of indicating, however imperfectly, the sort of work by which it should further be filled. The contributors may claim that they have all attempted to qualify as social students in two definite ways. They all possess prolonged and systematic experience in practical efforts to improve the condition of the poor, and they have all paid careful attention to the methods and principles of social reform. Their studies, written on different occasions, with different purposes, and drawn from different fields of observation, appear, when compared together, to have a single principle at their root. The writers have seen and felt as well as reflected that the individual member of society is above all things a character and a will, and that society as a whole is a structure in which will and character `are the blocks with which we build!"
The writers realize the aim thus expressed in the preface. The volume is fragmentary, but well executed, and will interest the general public. About half the papers bear on the theory and method of social reform, and the remainder are a record of social fact as observed especially in London and among the poor.
W. I. THOMAS.