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Books of selected essays, introducing the student to the more fundamental and far-reaching movements of thought of our times, are being more and more widely used in Freshman work in English. They have been, without exception, of a general nature and not specifically adapted to students in technical courses.
This volume is an attempt to supply a collection especially suited to students in Agricultural Colleges. There is no reason, however, why students of other colleges should not find these essays equally fitted to their needs.
The editors have been confronted with an unusual opportunity. The Agricultural College is forced by circumstances to regard itself — even more than other colleges
as an educational institution for developing leaders. Its graduates who return to practical farming achieve at once, if they are equal to it, a position of prominence and influence in the whole life of their respective communities. It is of the greatest importance, therefore, that these students acquire a definite professional outlook characterized by perspective and breadth. The editors of this volume have tried to collect such essays as would, all together, provide these students with the great ideas and ideals necessary for a worthy interpretation of their profession. As leaders in country life, the graduates of our Agricultural Colleges — in common with the graduates of other colleges should have the power of applying ideas to their life so as to reveal its excellencies, its present shortcomings, and its latent possibilities. To help supply these ideas is a privilege.
The essays have been grouped so as to indicate the large problems which the agriculturist as a professional man-in common with other men must necessarily confront and study. A group of essays championing the various activities of the Country Life Movement is placed first, because they are designed to lead the student to consider what values ought to be achieved in individual and social life in the country. Inasmuch as Agriculture is based on science, the next group of essays discuss the place of science in human life. A third group, presenting each of the various movements of education, should help the student to formulate his collegiate ideals and to broaden his intellectual perspective. Finally, it is desirable that the student should consider with care some of the more general problems of American life.
Essays from opposite points of view have frequently been included in order to arouse students to thought and discussion. While both range of treatment and the variety of subject matter may develop the critical faculties of the student, much argumentation is probably of doubtful value. A careful study of the other side is more wholesome and more likely to lead to a true perspective. Nevertheless, at the end of the discussion, each student should have acquired new ideas, which he feels sure are true and significant. The study of such essays as this volume contains should, therefore, stimulate students of Agriculture, or students of other subjects, to a high intellectual attitude toward their profession as well as toward the common problems of life.
A SUMMARY OF THE SUBJECTS
DISCUSSED IN THE ESSAYS
Problems of Country Life
The contribution of mechanical conveniences to farm life, conditions and needs of country life, the problems of the social center, the country church, the country school, the country home, farm credits, the rela ion of the out-of
doors to country life. Science
The demand for scientific knowledge in order that man may conquer his environment, a review of the last fifty years in science, what remains for science to do, the limi
tations of science. Education
The education in the applied science of Agriculture, corrective problems in this education in applied science, the education in pure science, the education in humane
letters. Problems of Life in General
Influence that the open country has had in developing American characteristics, the influence of democracy upon the individual, the influence of taste upon the various problems of life, the influence of character upon the work that a man does.