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The Barbarism Of Berlin Paperback – April 12, 2013
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About the Author
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) better known as G. K. Chesterton, was an English writer, lay theologian, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, literary and art critic, biographer, and Christian apologist. Chesterton is often referred to as the "prince of paradox." Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out." Chesterton is well known for his fictional priest-detective Father Brown, and for his reasoned apologetics. Even some of those who disagree with him have recognized the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. Chesterton, as a political thinker, cast aspersions on both Progressivism and Conservatism, saying, "The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected." Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an "orthodox" Christian, and came to identify this position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Roman Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw, Chesterton's "friendly enemy" according to Time, said of him, "He was a man of colossal genius." Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, Cardinal John Henry Newman, and John Ruskin. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
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."