It is high praise to give a review of a text-book on economics first place in a magazine, but readers of the Harvard Graduates' Magazine for March will agree that John H. Gray's examination of Professor F. W. Taussig's "Principles of Economics" deserves its position. The review is sympathetic--almost prophetic; and the candor, simplicity and praise of the last paragraph certainly deserve reprinting in the CRIMSON. Professor Taussig's is the foremost, perhaps, but still only one of the academic departments which need to awaken to the influence of the word "social". "If one may speak in familiar terms in this the family circle of our Alma Mater, I would say that not the least interesting thing about this work, to my mind, is the revelation of the growth of the author. A comparison of this with his earlier works show a tremendous progress towards what I should call the modern and public as distinct from the old and individualistic point of view. Twenty-five years ago Professor Taussig would probably have accepted, with but slight modification, the view of the laissezfaire school that the State has little or nothing to do with economics, and is weak and likely to remain so. When he asserts in the present work that we are slowly coming to recognize that the State is a great agent for social uplift and that its officials need more freedom of action, less letters in action, he opens the gate for considering every proposition on its own merits and not rejecting it simply because it is in conflict with a cast-off doctrine of the functions of the State--a State which in fact never existed anywhere in the world. This shifting of the point of view from the standpoint of the individual to that of the welfare of society is the most striking characteristic of Professor Taussig's work".
The view "From a Graduate's Window" does not interest a graduate of but two years' standing. Perhaps older eyes than ours will see humor there. The list of Harvard confederates who fell in the Civil War is a very valuable contribution to University statistics, and the characterizing bits of comment quoted from the war dispatches of their commanders bring pride as well as regret.
The articles on "The Yard and Its Elms" and "Squirrels in Cambridge", belong in the archives of the Memorial Society. William Brewster, h.'99, on a subject tabooed in English A themes has made the career of the squirrels so entertaining that the reviewer hopes the closed season in Freshman composition can occasionally be violated hereafter.
Arthur Beane's brief on "Voluntary Social Service at Harvard" records a year of conspicuous success and widening outlook for future helpfulness.
In the article on "Expenditures for Athletics" the Graduate Treasurer is again on the defensive, as the reviewer thinks he and his committee will have to be for some years, on the matter of athletic expenditures. While extravagance is undoubtedly being watched with greater care than ever before, the expense accounts of certain sports are without question too great, considering the number of men engaged. Certainly all of us will hope that constant improvement in the system by which the sports are carried on will prevent any return to the abominable practice of subscription hunting--some need of which Mr. Garcelon fears.
Gerard C. Henderson's article on "The College and the Radicals" is an excellent presentation of what has seemed to some a more difficult situation than it is. Mr. Henderson says, "It is a high tribute to the open-mindedness of the Harvard Corporation, and to the potency of Harvard's liberal tradition, that this (the immediate and thorough repression of the Socialist Club, the La Follette Club, the Wilson Club, and, since this is Massachusetts, the League for Woman Suffrage) has not been done". Free discussion is the one thing which will prevent alike riotous radicalism and stolid conservatism, and I am sure most Harvard men will hope with Mr. Henderson that the Corporation will not depart from the traditional Harvard policy of allowing absolue freedom of discussion.
The stately advice of John Lowell, Harvard 1776, to his freshman son who graduated from Harvard in 1815 -- the son was the grandfather of President Abbott Lawrence Lowell--is a charming contribution, and one which will be read with great respect and with smiles by all who turn its pages. Freshmen are not so very different nowadays from what they were in 1811, even if fathers are less apt in these days to quote Cicero and Fenelon.
The reviewer perhaps must be pardoned for partiality, but one of the things which he read with most interest was the excellent advertisement of the "Life and Times of Cavour" by William Roscoe Thayer.
Altogether the Graduates' Magazine for March is a compilation of short articles on widely varying topics which gives one better perhaps than any other record the feeling of diversity of pursuits followed by Harvard graduates and the variety of intimate information about them which can be brought together within the limits of a single magazine