4 JANUARY 1930, Page 34

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A belief in magic is the root of all evil. So at least thinks

M. Raoul Allier, whose latest book, Le non-civilise et nous, has been translated by Mr. Fred Rothwell, under the title of The Mind of the Savage (G. Bell, 15s.). "We have con- tinually to return to our one essential discovery," he writes, "that uncivilized mentality, with the belief in magic as its dominant factor, is characterized by real spiritual disin- tegration." This sentence seems singularly meaningless, but whatever meaning it may have cannot be regarded as a discovery. Professor Levy-Bruhl said much the same thing which has already taken M. Allier two volumes to discover. Even a cursory examination of the book is sufficient to show that its author chooses to ignore the other side of the question. If the doyen of the Faculty of Theology in Paris is unac- quainted with the relevant literature outside France, at least he should know the work of his own countrymen, such as that of M. Olivier Leroy, whose La Raison Primitive completely re-established the oneness of human mentality.