Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle Reading App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) better known as G.K. Chesterton, was an English writer. He wrote on philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction.
--This text refers to an alternate
G.K. Chesterton's "The Barbarism of Berlin" is a lengthy essay (442 kindle "locations" or about 33 pages) defending the decision by the U.K. to join World War I and fight the Central Powers, Germany in particular.
It is a testament to Chesterton's powerful skills as a writer that I found myself agreeing with him so much because I've typically found World War I to have been one of the most extraordinary wastes of lives in the long history of a world that regularly wastes lives. Note that I do not agree with Chesterton's final conclusion (the war was a worthwhile investment of time, energy and lives) but he does make compelling arguments and the essay is worth reading just to have them so well laid out in front of you.
Chesterton makes the argument that Germany's outlook on the world is different than France's and England's and that these competing worldviews are bound to confront. Eventually, one will win out - thus the war. Or, as he buts it, Germany has "the perfectly serious aim of destroying certain ideas, which, as they think, the world has outgrown; without which, as we think, the world will die." (location 118)
The essay is a bit dated by anachronistic racial terms and stereotypes, acceptable then but not now but a knowledgeable reader understands that the world is a different place now. Worthy of your time if you are a history buff, especially a student of "The War to End All Wars."
This short, pithy, and witty piece written at the start of the First World War, could have, and should have been given to Chamberlain prior to going to Munich. Alas it was not, and the Second War was given the impetus to begin. Chesterton is a prophet. We lack such men today, who can provide substance as well as clever delivery.
G.K.Chesterton has written an excellent book about how the Germans appear to the western world before and during the first world war. His insights into the German mind would especially ring true of the Third Riech and the Nazis. However I am still convinced that American involvement in the first world war was mistake.
Was this review helpful to you?