Mr. Howells's 'A Traveler from Altruria' recounts only his social apostle's acts and experiences at a summer hotel in a mountain village of New England, and includes none of the epistles upon the World's Fair and the life of New York that his chronicler has recently sent to him through a magazine. The author calls the book a romance, but its form is a thinly disguised and somewhat acrid tract for the times, marked in the narrative passages by the colloquialisms that now please Mr. Howells. Designedly unindividual, the village, the hotel and some of their characters are broadly typical of their kind. Other characters are only voices. From a remarkably observant banker, a retired manufacturer, a lawyer, a clergyman, a dry-as-dust professor of economics, an "average" woman, the wife of a prosperous broker, and from the romancer himself ? all guests at the hotel? the Altrurian, a skillful questioner, hears much of the darker side of our industrial and social order. Through a mother and son of the soil at a neighboring farm, he acquaints himself with our agrarian discontent. Then, by general desire, he, in turn, becomes pedagogue, and, in a sort of a lecture in a grove, explains rather than pictures his own Altruria ? an island common wealth that enjoys every virtue and delight of every Utopia from Plato down to Bellamy, where all men ? he tells not how ? have become good and pure, unselfish, unambitious, passionless.