|About the Book|
The importance of the subjects handled in this volume requires no demonstration. Already, and for long, the treatment of them has naturally engaged the sympathetic study of philanthropists, and more recently it has attracted the earnest attention of scientific inquirers. Hitherto, however, the results have been far from satisfactory- and there is ample room for further discussion, especially from the standpoint of a thoroughly practical man with large experience both of criminals and of the social conditions that breed them. Nowadays there is a growing sense of social interdependence- there is a more general and a more definitely realized aim to elevate the condition of the less fortunate of our fellow-citizens- there are express efforts of scientific investigators to discover a firm basis for practical reforms- and practical reforms are urgent. Such tendencies of thought and feeling may be expected to go far to ensure a warm welcome to this volume. Dr. Devon’s book is executed on a breadth of scale never before attempted. It has three distinct parts: The Criminal- Common Factors in the Causation of Crime- The Treatment of the Criminal. His exposition is perfectly clear- he sees precisely, and he states directly, simply, and definitely what he sees and what he thinks about it, very frequently driving home a point with epigrammatic force. If he throws overboard unceremoniously what he regards as mere lumber accumulated by the industry of speculation divorced from experience- if he betrays some impatience with existing theories and systems- if he advances his own views with confidence—the handling is at any rate piquant, and brings the matter promptly to a head.