Recent Literature Adolescence, Its Psychology and Its Relation to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion and Education . By G. Stanley Hall, Ph.D., LL.D., President of Clark University and Professor of Psychology and Pedagogy. 2 Vols. 1393 pages. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1904

1905 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
gathered together the facts which underlie the influences that have advanced or retarded the development of man, and has embodied them in this work, which is founded on his "Psychology," now in preparation. He holds that the child and the race are each keys to the other. The years from about eight to twelve constitute a unique period of human life. The acute stage of teething is passing, the brain has acquired nearly its adult size and weight, health is almost at its best, activity is greater
more » ... d more varied than ever before, or than it ever will be again, and there is peculiar endurance, vitality and resistance to fatigue. The child develops a life of its own outside the home circle, and its natural interests are never so independent of adult influence. Everything, in short, suggests the culmination of one stage of life. The boy is father of the man in a new sense, in that his qualities are indefinitely older and existed well compacted untold ages before the more distinctly human attributes were developed. Adolescence is a new birth, for the higher and more completely human traits are now born. The book is a series of revised lectures delivered to his classes. Of the eighteen chapters, one is devoted to motor education and will training, two to the pedagogy of the English literature and language, of history, drawing, normal and high schools, colleges and universities and of philosophy, and one to the pedagogy of nature and the sciences most commonly taught. Menstruation and the education of girls occupies two chapters ; hygiene, crime and secret vice and social and religious training one each. Adolescent love is taken up in parts of three chapters. The book is full of suggestions and cannot fail to prove an inspiration to the reader, be he college president, teacher, physician or parent. The two volumes represent an enormous amount of research and deep reading of the literature, and the author is frank in statement and in no way hampered by preconceived views as to the training of youth. It is a pity that this, the first treatise in a new department of knowledge, could not have been written more for the general reader than for the student of pedagogy. Although we find in the preface the statement that the attempt has been made to bring the subject matter within the reach of any intelligent reader, the first chapter opens with these somewhat appalling sentences: " The beginning of individual life, or the age of zero for all sexed animals, is when the male cell penetrates the ovum. Their attraction for each other, which Maupas thinks a relic of the psychochemic tropism of agamic generation, is the biological basis, as the karyonomic rejuvenation thus caused is the goal of love in the ascending stages of life." The author's vocabulary is wonderful; unfortunately for the average reader he has a special fondness for long words not in common use, and also has a bad habit of coining adjectives from nouns. Many of the terms used, such as virified, percentile, trancoidal, puberal, and haptics cannot be found in Stormonth's, Worcester's or the Century dictionaries. The work is prolix, the general plan of most of the chapters being to abstract articles by a wide range of authors without any summing up, so that at the end the reader is left helplessly wandering in a dreary waste of statistics which are often contradictory. Where the domain of medicine is trenched on, as it frequently is, Dr. Hall evinces a tendency to give undue weight to the statistics of workers unknown to the profession, and in sifting medical opinions he makes the mistake, which a layman must of necessity make, of getting the facts out of their proper proportion to one another. Apart from these criticisms, which have to do more with the manner of presentation than with the subject matter, the book is a noteworthy one. The chapter alone on adolescent girls and their education makes the book well worth reading. We should like to see it rewritten in simple English and condensed to one volume.
doi:10.1056/nejm190501051520108 fatcat:zp522pmcj5g5teysmy6jyt7bsq