"Preparedness in a nutshell" is the best phrase that could be used to describe Lucien Howe's new book. "Universal Military Education" (G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York). Dr. Howe has had valuable experience with young men of all ages and conditions, and, as he tells us in his preface, he soon learned in the course of his medical career "how much people might be improved by a little systematic training in promptness, exactness, restraint, efficiency and other soldierly qualities." And aside from the incalculable benefits to the individuals that should urge us toward, some system of military training. Dr. Howe, in a clear, concise manner, with no unnecessary language or clever rhetoric, sets forth the reasons why the United States, fol- ly as much as any other nation in the world, needs an adequate army and navy. To the believer in preparedness, this book will bring a newer and saner plea for defense than any he has yet heard; to the pacifist who is still open to reason, it cannot but bring certain doubts as to the realization of the dream of national disarmament. Certainly it will make him feel that the time is not yet ripe for such a step by the richest nation in the world.
In his second chapter, Dr. Howe takes up that most complex and insoluble question, "What Protection is Adequate?" He shows our relative naval protection per mile of coast line compared with other nations, and the strength of our army on a war footing compared with our population and the territory we have to protect. He further explains the measures that have already been passed by Congress and shows their unsuitability to our needs at the present time. The remainder of the book contains valuable statistics on preparedness, what it can do for the individual and the best methods of impressing it upon the nation at large. Some system of universal service is needed; and the Swiss system, from the point of view of the greatest benefit to the individual, the health and morale of the country and adequate defense for the nation, has unquestionably demonstrated its superiority over any other system that has ever been put forward. Then why not adopt it? is the question in the minds of everyone when he has finished this book. And when we think of the vast sums that are spent each day in luxuries and pleasures and in building magnificent public buildings in insignificant towns, we wonder more than ever how long it will take Congress to awake to the needs of the country.
In a word, Dr. Howe's book makes one think,--and from a saner and more logical standpoint than one is generally as customed to think