Item description for The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton...
What, if anything, is it that makes the human uniquely human? This, in part, is the question that G.K. Chesterton starts with in this classic exploration of human history. Responding to the evolutionary materialism of his contemporary (and antagonist) H.G. Wells, Chesterton in this work affirms human uniqueness and the unique message of the Christian faith. Writing in a time when social Darwinism was rampant, Chesterton instead argued that the idea that society has been steadily progressing from a state of primitivism and barbarity towards civilization is simply and flatly inaccurate. "Barbarism and civilization were not successive stages in the progress of the world," he affirms, with arguments drawn from the histories of both Egypt and Babylon.
As always with Chesterton, there is in this analysis something (as he said of Blake) "very plain and emphatic." He sees in Christianity a rare blending of philosophy and mythology, or reason and story, which satisfies both the mind and the heart. On both levels it rings true. As he puts it, "in answer to the historical query of why it was accepted, and is accepted, I answer for millions of others in my reply; because it fits the lock; because it is like life." Here, as so often in Chesterton, we sense a lived, awakened faith. All that he writes derives from a keen intellect guided by the heart's own knowledge. --Doug Thorpe
Book Description Men are moved in these things by something far higher and holier than policy; by hatred. When men hung on in the darkest days of the Great War, suffering either in their bodies or in their souls for those they loved, they were long past caring about details of diplomatic objects as motives for their refusal to surrender. Of myself and those I knew best I can answer for the vision that made surrender impossible. It was the vision of the German Emperor's face as he rode into Paris.
Download Description Men are moved in these things by something far higher and holier than policy; by hatred. When men hung on in the darkest days of the Great War, suffering either in their bodies or in their souls for those they loved, they were long past caring about details of diplomatic objects as motives for their refusal to surrender. Of myself and those I knew best I can answer for the vision that made surrender impossible. It was the vision of the German Emperor's face as he rode into Paris.
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More About G. K. Chesterton
G.K. Chesteron was born in 1874. He attended the Slade School of Art, where he appears to have suffered a nervous breakdown, before turning his hand to journalism. A prolific writer throughout his life, his best-known books include The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), The Man Who Knew Too Much(1922), The Man Who Was Thursday (1908) and the Father Brown stories. Chesterton converted to Roman Catholicism in 1922 and died in 1938. Michael D. Hurley is a Lecturer in English at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St Catharine's College. He has written widely on English literature from the nineteenth century to the present day, with an emphasis on poetry and poetics. His book on G. K. Chesterton was published in 2011.
G. K. Chesterton lived in London. G. K. Chesterton was born in 1874 and died in 1936.
G. K. Chesterton has published or released items in the following series...
Classic Wisdom Collection
Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton
Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton
Doubleday Image Book
Dover Books on History, Political and Social Science
Reviews - What do customers think about The Everlasting Man?
Magnificence Nov 3, 2007
Theologian G. K. Chesterton objectively and poetically takes us through a journey of the Christian church, allowing us to see it from afar; thus more clearly----from a different perspective----to think outside the box (as Christ had us do). He brings forth good arguments as he takes the other side in order to get his point across. It is hard to garner the magnificence this book is. The use of metaphors sails right over my head at times, and I am far and away from fully comprehending this work; I understand the need to read it carefully to get his meaning.
Chesterton discusses the mysticism that has so flourished since the beginning, ("but the first chapters of the romance have been torn out of the book; and we shall never read them") and paganism that leads to civilizations downfalls; every effort to confound God ends in disaster. But Christianity has toppled many times; it just shows how stable the foundation is.
And as for the creation/evolution debate: Chesterton sets out to prove "the rationalist thesis is more irrational than ours", and "Sometimes the professor with his bone becomes almost as dangerous as a dog with his bone. And the dog at least does not deduce theory from it, proving that mankind is going to the dogs----or that it came from them". Primitive doesn't mean mystic or unintelligent nor does civilized mean rational or intellectual; "very probable it was exceedingly like the history we do know, except in the one detail that we do not know it. It is thus the very opposite of the pretentious prehistoric history, which professes to trace everything in a consistent course from the amoeba to the anthropod and from the anthropod to the agnostic".
I do a disservice in trying to explain this difficult work; just read it.
Wish you well Scott
Classical Book for Sane People Sep 4, 2007
The book has become classical because, unlike other weighty apologetical books, it appeals to common sense reasoning. As he always does in his other books, Chesterton again shows in this book that truth, and the way we're supposed to obtain that truth, is actually not far away from how common people think in their daily life about day-to-day matters. And a thought or argument--deep as it is--that returns to daily experience will tend to endure and last longer. Over speculative arguments will indeed make a boisterous noise, but it will soon be forgotten.
G.K.'s arguments look simple, and yet they appeal to sane mind. Why is it better off to believe in creation? G.K. would say: "isn't it easier to say that the world was created?" Why G.K. doesn't believe in evolution? Because human laughs. Why G.K. thinks that the story of Jesus in the Bible is true? Because no other groups of religion other than Christianity believes it is true. . . . To mention only few examples from the book.
ridete et valete!
Different view on Christianity Sep 4, 2007
This book is sometimes confusing, but digs deep into the soul and the heart of man. It was a key book for me in finding my faith.
The power of critical thinking and challenge to the agnostic Aug 20, 2007
Beginning akin to Plato's cave and taking the reader on a sweeping journey to Christianity, Chesterton challenges the assumptions of social Darwinists and agnostics with well-reasoned logic leading us back to the church. This is the book that touched the heart of a troubled and seeking C. S. Lewis and lead to his work, Mere Christianity. Readers family with Lewis will see some similarities but will find Chesterton a bit more difficult to follow. Chesterton's style is not the popular style of Lewis but is oftentimes more in depth and profound than Lewis making it well worth the added effort it requires. This is probably the best place to begin with Chesterton and a great tool for developing critical thinking skills.
You either love him or he annoys and bores you - this book is the acid test Jun 28, 2007
An enjoyable reading of Chesterton requires:
(1) enduring appreciation for a certain type of meandering, chatty wittiness that likes to play with words and state things in unexpected ways, offering food for thought or just an appreciative chuckle; (2) lots of time and patience, since each page must be read with careful attention in order to "process" the style and squeeze out and absorb the serious content (3) some sherry on the side.
Unfortunately my own reading of this work was hampered by an inadequate supply of all three of the above. I read the first few chapters with due diligence, and found the style and content quite enjoyable. Chesterton does offer many unique turns of phrase and "quotable quotes". He supplies both humour and interesting thoughts.
However, after some time I started getting impatient. My attention wandered as I became a bit fatigued of the style, which began to annoy me a bit as too long-winded. I started skimming rather than reading, then skipping pages, then chapters.
This book would be better served as a captivating and brilliant series of lectures. However, in the written medium I prefer more fast-paced and straight-forward language - I read less to enjoy the style than to get the content. That is my own fault, not Chesterton's. As an original thinker and an entertaining wordsmith, he is certainly worthy of the faithful and enthusiastic following that he has commanded since his books were written.