What I Saw in America by G.K. ChestertonJournalist, novelist, poet, artist and art critic, essayist, theologian, propagandist, philosopher, and creator of the wily old Father Brown - G. K. Chesterton is one of the most beguiling authors of the early twentieth century. When asked to perform a lecture tour in 1921, Chesterton was in a slump of depression. He had recently lost his brother to the First World War and his wavering faith in the face of the horrors of the conflict only intensified his malaise. What I Saw in America tells us as much about the author and his particular views as it does about his destination. Indeed, Chestertons personalised observations - his aversion to imperialism, capitalism, Anglo-Americanism and his commitment to democracy and fraternity - are distinguished by the piercing wit for which he is famed.
Many of Chestertons reflections are timeless and startlingly prescient. He was highly critical of both the naive immigration policies and the grinding dehumanisation brought about by the growth of the economy. Nonetheless, he was enthralled by the glorious ideals of the nation - founded on principles of equality, democracy and freedom - even if the essence of these ideals had been lost somewhere along the way. What I Saw in America ranks among the finest of Chestertons works, containing all of the authors virtues and vices: his wry humour, sympathy and intelligence playing devilishly against an irrepressible mischievousness.
A Nation with the Soul of a Church: Revisiting Chesterton's What I Saw in America - Will R. Jordan
What I saw in America
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Chesterton was one of the greatest and most prolific writers of the 20th century. A convert to Catholicism, he is well known for his Father Brown mystery stories and for his reasoned defense of the Christian faith. Learn More. Find a Local Society. Read and discuss Chesterton with others in your community. Introducing the Apostolate of Common Sense. A lay apostolate dedicated to Catholic education and evangelization.
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Internet Archive Page. M4B audio book, part 1 mb. M4B audio book, part 2 mb. One was an incident and the other an idea; and when taken together they illustrate the attitude I mean. The first principle is that nobody should be ashamed of thinking a thing funny because it is foreign; the second is that he should be ashamed of thinking it wrong because it is funny. If you are not in the USA, please verify the copyright status of these works in your own country before downloading, otherwise you may be violating copyright laws. Chesterton M4B audio book, part 1 mb M4B audio book, part 2 mb.
I have never managed to lose my old conviction that travel narrows the mind. At least a man must make a double effort of moral humility and imaginative energy to prevent it from narrowing his mind. Indeed there is something touching and even tragic about the thought of the thoughtless tourist, who might have stayed at home loving Laplanders, embracing Chinamen, and clasping Patagonians to his heart in Hampstead or Surbiton, but for his blind and suicidal impulse to go and see what they looked like. This is not meant for nonsense; still less is it meant for the silliest sort of nonsense, which is cynicism. The human bond that he feels at home is not an illusion.