IN this amusing and witty book, Prof. Lowie has made a survey of human culture with the view of analysing the permanent and impermanent elements in the line of progress. His thesis is that man, like the chimpanzee, must fight against the forces of destruction; but he has forged ahead of the ape by passing on his experience to his descendants of the next generation. Prof. Lowie aims at showing that in so doing he has passed on dross as well as gold. In his time and space survey, he shows that identity in difference leads to the conclusion that we ourselves, however much we may differ from our ancestors and the so-called ‘lower races’, retain much in our own make-up, ‘inherited’, in the looser sense, which justifies the interrogative which forms the title of his book. Prof. Lowie holds no brief for the popular theory of Nordic superiority, because, as he says, he does not recognise that a Nordic race exists to-day. Like everything he writes, the book is stimulating. Though scientific in method and outlook, it is written in a style which avoids technicalities and will appeal to the least instructed of readers.
Are we Civilized? Human Culture in Perspective.
By Robert H. Lowie. Pp. xiii + 306. (London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd., 1929.) 12s. 6d. net.