EDUCATIONAL IDEALS: GERMAN AND BRITISH* BOOKS on Germany have been numerous of late, and the cynic is sometimes inclined to think that, whereas before the war nothing German could be wrong, since it began nothing German could be right. We are not inclined to think that British views have shown anything like so com- plete a change. The intelligent Briton is no more disposed now than he was two years ago to deny German efficiency in manufacture, in commerce, in the army he was no more disposed two years ago than he is to-day to accept the German out- look on life or the German ideal of politics. His views have not so much changed as the emphasis which he lays on these different spheres. Educa- tion is perhaps the one field in which his expression of opinions has been essentially changed. Mr. Holmes's book would have been regarded as the work of an erratic though original mind two years ago to-day much of it appears to be already hack- neyed. Yet Mr. Holmes's book is absolutely in keeping with what have been known to be Mr. Holmes's views on education since first he put pen to paper. We must suspect that few of us have changed our views even here, but that before the war those of us who suspected that there was something wrong in German education discreetly held our peace, and that we have now become vocal while the upholders of the former orthodoxy are for the time silent. We were not in a position to deny our opponents' facts we could not yield an inner assent to their sense of values. German educa- tional efficiency, the adjustment of means to ends, was something tangible the nature of the ends was something which could only be tested by time. The British standard of education has always been (and by this we mean the standard, not of the educa- tional expert or of the educational adminis- trator, but of the plain man) not how much does it add to the sum of knowledge, but what kind of men does it produce. Judged by the test of addi- tions to human knowledge there was no doubt that our Universities stood condemned, and to deny the superiority of German higher education was to appear as an obscurantist judged by the test of knowledge which the average pupil possessed at leaving there was no doubt as to the superiority of -The Nemesis of Docility, a study of German character, by Edmund Holmes (Constable & Co., 1916). the German secondary schools, and to raise any other issue was to be suspected of having a mind which loved British muddle and was incapable of realising the merits of organisation-an untidy mind, in short. Who before the war would have dared to say that knowledge is made for man and not man for knowledge? And, to tell the truth, how many would dare to apply the doctrine too freely now, especially as regards Universities ? Here lies the value of such books as this. Their use will be nil if they are regarded simply as so many sticks with which to beat Germany while the war lasts, and if we do not consider after the war how far the academic mind is right in the idea that it has got to go on German lines but to go one better, or how far the plain man is right that personality is the first and greatest thing, and that only when we have seen that nothing that we do makes our educa- tional system fail to bring out personality should we go on to add the other things, good as they are, but not the greatest good. We may win research, technical education, knowledge, efficiency, and yet lose our national and individual soul. Univer- sities and schools should be the breeding places of the national ideals, they should leaven the whole life of the people and, if they fail there, in the long run, they have failed completely. We suppose that most readers have already accepted the views expressed in most of these chapters as to what is wrong in German character, as to the share which past history, which mili- taryism, which an overwhelming system of govern- ment, have had in producing these effects and as to the evidence which the war has furnished of their remoter consequences on public and private morality. Mr. Holmes states his case moderately, refers to his authorities, and generally shows a judicial mind, but, if the various chapters on each of these subjects are taken as complete in them- selves, they add little to what has been said by others and Mr. Holmes carefully keeps educa- tion out of all these earlier chapters. But we believe that this is all part of his design he carries his reader with him for two hundred pages, while he his laying down his premises and then suddenly in the last chapter brings out the conclusion to which he has been leading all along, the conclusion which we believe many of his readers would be reluctant to admit, that German education is suited