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The craftsman
Vol. VII, No. 5 (February 1905)

Book reviews,   pp. 613-621 PDF (2.8 MB)


Page 618


BOOK REVIEWS
It is full of interesting accounts by a
careful eye-witness of events and condi-
tions, habits and customs just prior to the
War of the Revolution. There are kind
and manly words spoken of Washington
and some excellent descriptions of the
scenery and cities of that time.
  The second volume, Canfield's "Legends
of the Iroquois," is a valuable contribution
to our literature of the aborigines whose
land we now possess. The legends were
gathered at an opportune time, and are
thus saved to posterity.   The author
knows the Indians and in his introduction
thus speaks: "It is not too much to ask
the reader to remember that these stories
were told in the homes of the red men
many centuries ago, long before they
learned from the whites the cruel, heart-
less, treacherous and vindictive character-
istics that unfair history has fastened upon
them as natural and inherent traits."
These legends will help dispel many popu-
lar but wrong beliefs as to the Indian's
want of character, religion or poetic con-
ception.  [Source Books of American
History, edited by Rufus Rockwell Wil-
son.  Volumes issued, "Andrew    Burn-
aby's Travels Through the Middle Settle-
ments of North America in 1759-6o," and
"Legends of the Iroquois," by W. W.
Canfield: A. Wessels Company, New
York.]
  "The Wooden      Works of Thomas
Anonymous" consist of a cleverly arranged
book having leaves of thin pine, printed on
both sides, bound together by large metal
rings, and enclosed within two thicker
and darker boards of a different wood.
The front cover bears an etched design
of humorous character, which is evidently
a caricature of the Lynch law: a large
tree with outstretched branches simulating
a balance, from which are pendent, on one
side a negro (coon), and, on the other,
a "possum." The preface, under a tran-
sparent veil of seriousness, betrays an
amusing wit; while some of the verses wit-
ness an acquaintance on the part of their
author with good models of English.
But it is to be regretted that lapses of taste
are not infrequent, and that the light hu-
mor more than once degenerates into posi-
tive coarseness.
   (The Wooden     Works of Thomas
Anonymous: The Backwoods Bindery,
Sumter, S. C., 81/2 by 53/4 inches; 30
pages; price $1.25.)
  In "Human Work,"        by Charlotte
Perkins Gilman, the author deals with
the development of work       from  the
animal through    the savage, into the
civilized man. She treats of man's many
mistakes and endeavors to set him right.
Work and a people's ideas concerning
work are important factors in the world's
growth. The Indian thought work fit
only for women, the early South, only for
slaves. Both were thereby retarded in
their development. Most of our eco-
nomic distresses may be traced to our
ideas about work.
   Man has, all along the ages, been striv-
ing with his own conduct. He has con-
stantly floundered in his evolution from
savagery. Occasionally, a man sees into
the future; but most men are held down
by their past. This side of the argument
Mrs. Gilman     almost over-emphasizes.
She calls this clinging to the past, a "brake


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