The Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton, Vol. 4: What's Wrong with the World / The Superstition of Divorce / Eugenics and Other Evils / Divorce versus Democracy / Social Reform versus Birth Control Paperback – Illustrated, April 1, 1987
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What's Wrong With the World--Chesterton wrote this book in 1905, when he had become convinced of Christianity but almost two decades before his conversion to Catholicism specifically. What's Wrong With the World addresses a tremendous variety of topics in short, pithy chapters. While many of the examples he uses to illustrate his points may be dated, the points Chesterton makes remain relevant 100 years later. Among the best chapters is "The Calvinism of To-day," in which he describes what would today be called scientific determinism and accurately predicts its effects on society. This is among the best books by Chesterton that I have read.
The Superstition of Divorce--1920--In this much shorter work, Chesterton argues for the sanctity of marriage against divorce, which "is not only more of a superstition than free love, but much more of a superstition than strict sacramental marriage." He examines at length the fuzzy thinking that goes into the idea of divorce, and makes a strong case for the meaning of marriage.
Eugenics and Other Evils--This book comes from 1922 but contains, at Chesterton's admission, material published from many years previous. The book addresses the problem of Eugenics, which Chesterton had thought irrelevant at the end of World War I but, to his distress, found to be gaining strength rather than losing it. As in many of his other books (including the above), Chesterton ranges far afield but always returns deftly to his point, which here is that Eugenics or any similar scheme is immoral. I found Chesterton's arguments still timely--though no one today would dare label themselves a Eugenist--and helpful in debate.
As always, Chesterton is a joy to read, and this is one volume of his Collected Works well worth reading cover to cover.
As I stated, the text was reproduced well, and the editor did a nice job on the introductory material. Chesterton is his usual self throughout, and his works in this volume take on a number of issues of intense significance today. These books are well worth the read, and sobering insofar as they discuss with prophetic clarity the progress of issues which were serious in his time, and rampant in our own.