Review of The World's People
The World's Peoples: A Popular Account of Their Bodily and Mental Characters, Beliefs, Traditions, Political and Social Institutions. By A. H. KEANE, LL.D., F.R.A.I. New York: Putnam, 1908. Pp. viii+434. With 270 illustrations reproduced from original photographs.
The scope of Dr. Keane's latest work is sufficiently indicated by the title. He has managed the matter of illustrations admirably. No book in English of anything like the scope can compare with it on this score.
A book of this general character should precede or accompany the study of history, politics, and sociology in the schools. This volume is not itself so well adapted to school use as Professor Keane's Ethnology or his Marx, Past and Present, but it is admirably adapted to the intelligent public.
The problem of space has made it necessary to neglect some aspects of the life of the different groups of mankind. The formal descriptions, the enumeration of peoples, and the geographical relations are well done, but social and mental questions are not so well handled.
It is interesting to note that the author, while "eschewing debatable questions," such as the origin of exogamy, group marriage, and magical practice, expresses himself without hesitation on such questions as "the cradle of the human race," and "the original home of the white man." These and some like questions are regarded as also debatable by many ethnologists, but they are among the questions on which Dr. Keane has made up his mind.
W. I. THOMAS
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO