4 JANUARY 1930, Page 27

Some Books of the Week

THERE possibly was a time when, for the anthropologist, culture was "essentially something static," but that time has long since passed away. If there is one thing which justifies modern anthropology it is its dynamic view of culture. It is a pity that Mr. A. Victor Murray did not know this when he wrote The School in the Bush (Longmans, 12s. 6d.), or even earlier, when he spent a year of research in Africa as the holder of a Cadbury Travelling Research Fellowship, of which this book is the outcome. As it is, the book loses much of its value. It surveys all the external factors which affect native culture, and is an interesting, though partisan, critique of present educational theory and practice in Africa. But Mr. Murray does not believe that the educationist can learn anything from anthropology, which he dismisses in a few phrases. He surveys all the relevant factors in short except one, which, in our view, is the most important. Only about four pages out of four hundred are devoted to a per- functory consideration of native systems of education. Perhaps Mr. Murray does not know how intelligent and advanced certain native systems arc: a year is a short period in which to discover a continent. A little less dogmatism and more humility might have added something of permanent value to this incomplete survey.