Western Civilization: A Political, Social, and Cultural History.
By John J. Van Nostrand and Paul Schaeffer. New York (D. Van
Nostrand Company), 1949. Volume I, $4.75.
The above book is based on an earlier work, European His-
tory: A Political, Social and Cultural History, by J. W. Thomp-
son, F. C. Palm, and J. J. Van Nostrand, D. Van Nostrand Com-
pany, Inc., 1939.
As the title implies, this book is a study of the growth of the
civilization of Western Europe from its beginning to the end of
the religious wars of the seventeenth century. This division is
similar to that of other two-volume texts on the same subject.
Chronologically, the book is divided into three main sections:
(1) the Ancient period (192 pages); (2) the Medieval period
(231 pages); and (3) the Renaissance, Reformation, Counter-
Reformation, and Religious Wars (88 pages). The treatment is
chronological in the Ancient period; thereafter it tends to become
topical. Marginal notes in the text serve as an outline of the ma-
terial, and a brief bibliography at the end of each chapter is
useful for the student who desires to read further.
"Our aims," state the authors, "have been to present ... the
development of societies in the fewest possible words. Within
this limit, we have endeavored to include all phases of human
activity. The permanent factors and lasting achievements have
been stressed." The emphasis is on the cultural and the institu-
tional rather than on the political. The book is written in a
style that is easy to comprehend. In some respects, it is more
literary than scholarly. It would therefore be valuable for the
reader who desires a general introduction to the subject.
MARY KATHERINE DICKSON
The University of Texas
The Texas State Historical Association has received from the
Virginia State Library a volume entitled Virgina's State Gov-
ernment during the Second World War: Its Constitutional, Leg-
islative and Administrative Adaptations, 1942-1945, by Francis
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/. Accessed December 21, 2013.