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This book has been written to answer a demand for a single text on state and national government. The increasing interest shown in the study of civil government is, proof that the people are thinking and studying about governmental affairs as never before.
The statements of fact in some parts of the book are necessarily brief. To supplement the work in the study of Iowa government, constant reference should be made to the code, and also to the session laws of the general assembly. Many valuable public documents, for use in supplementary work, may be had, free of charge, by applying to the officers who have the care of the work upon which the information is desired.
A knowledge of the facts of civil government will not in itself result in good citizenship. If, as is so often stated, the primary object of the public schools is to train for citizenship, the work is but poorly done that does not have for its foundation the formation of right habits of thought and action, and the development of noble manhood and womanhood.
In assuming the joint authorship of Iowa AND THE Nation the writer feels that a sane and practical text in civics ought to give due emphasis to government as a living organism. Citizenship demands a knowledge of the principles of government. Many changes are made from time to time in the form and structure of our governments; consequently, young people must not only acquire patriotic impulses and high ideals of citizenship, but in a government "by the people" they must have an intimate knowledge of the machinery and structure of the government under which they live, in order to make the changes with intelligence.
The new IOWA AND THE NATION contains a list of questions and suggestions at the close of each chapter. Many of the questions are meant to elaborate the text and to provoke discussion and investigation of a great many subjects of community interest. The energetic teacher will not only make use of these but will further vitalize the subject by organizing the class as The Board of Supervisors, The City Council, A Town Caucus and for holding a township election; she will have pupils bring to class for study public documents, town warrants, reports of the proceedings of supervisors and legal forms of various kinds. These and many other practices, such as visiting a session of the district court, the city council and other public meetings make the study concrete and of immense practical value. Des Moines, Iowa.
JOHN L. CHERNY.