20 MAY 1932, Page 26

THE EVOLUTION OF CULTURE By Julius Lippert The Evolution of

Culture, by Julius Lippert (Allen and Unwin, 20s.), which has long been a standard work upon the Continent, is here for the first time made_- available to English readers in a translation by.Professor G..1'. Murdock, of Yale University. Culture Lippert understood in a wider sense than the word usually covers : he" Meant by it all that dis- tinguishes civilized man from the em'age. This gradual development is traced in abundant detail through every main phase of human activity. The Family, the Taming of Fire, Tools and Weapons, Fetishism, Human Sacrifice : the heads of a few chapters; taken at random, indicate the scope of this extraordinary work. The chapter on Human Sacrifice is an excellent example of Lippert's indefatigable skill. His exploration of the Old Testament reveals numerous instances of such sacrifice which are not obvious till he has pointed them out and related them to the cult from which they sprang. Nothing is more fascinating than to observe how primitive customs survive and break out in different places on the earth's surface, lasting down even into con- temporary life. It is difficult to believe that such a work as this can ever be supplanted. The most that research can do is to supplement it. The publishers are to be con- gratulated on their enterprise. Professor Murdock's trans- lation reads like an English original.