JOSEPH JACOBS was a thinker and writer of unusual breadth and versatility. Among the subjects to which he gave his attention as early as 1886 was the comparative distribution of Jewish ability, as the result of researches he had undertaken in association with Sir Francis Galton. The present work was the natural outcome of these studies which appeared in the Journal of the Anthropological Institute and were afterwards republished as Studies in Jewish Statistics, 1891.
Dr. Jacobs at the time intended to write a comprehensive work, entitled "The Jewish Race--A Study in National Character," in sixty-seven chapters, the outline of which was printed privately in London, 1889. Unfortunately he never went any further with this plan. Similarly his idea of an even more ambitious work, "European Ideals--A Study in Origins," did not go beyond the outline which appeared in 1911. It was perhaps his occupation with this general subject which again turned his thought to Jewish contributions to European civilization. This subject engaged the attention of Dr. Jacobs during his last years, and, while he did not live to complete the work, it is fortunate that he at least left the first of the three books he had in