21 NOVEMBER 1931, Page 56

Current Literature,

Now that France is predominant in Europe, it is mare desirable than ever that . we should try to understand 'her way of regarding the. course of affairs. A. good deal of help, indirect perhaps- but not the less valuable for that, may be found in Mr. .Roger -Soltau's long and able book on French Political Thought in the 'Nineteenth Century (Been, 21s.). Mr. Soltau is not concerned with events, but he supplies just enough historical setting to give the book coherence and to shoW the practical applications of .the successive doctrines that gained favour from the romantic worship of Authority after 1E115 to-the more oilesd yagne and academic Syndicialism Of our own day.: The 'Church figures largely in the discussion, for-'it has 'long 'divided-France into two The .'chapters on Napoleon III and the Church and on the Dreyfus:affair are of. exceptional interest and nnd both these highly controversial topics are- treated dispaskonatelv. Mr. Soltau quiiteS 'freelir from the inmitnerable French books on politietil- science; -"his account of the recent Syndicalist literatgre will be new to most English readers.