In this important book, G.K. Chesterton offers a remarkably perceptive analysis of social and moral issues, even more relevant today than in his own time. With a light, humorous tone but a deadly serious philosophy, he comments on errors in education, on feminism vs. true womanhood, on the importance of the child, and other issues, using incisive arguments against the trendsetters’ assaults on the common man and the family.
Chesterton possessed the genius to foresee the dangers of implementing modernist proposals. He knew that lax moral standards would lead to the dehumanization of man. In this book, he staunchly defends the family against those ideas and institutions that would subvert it and thereby deliver man into the hands of the servile state. In addressing what is wrong, he also shows clearly what is right, and how to change things in that direction.
"The mind that finds its way to wild places is the poet's; but the mind that never finds its way back is the lunatic's."
- G.K. Chesterton, What's Wrong with the World
Written 107 years ago, Chesterton's 'What's Wrong with the World' is dated on several topics, primarily regarding women. But even if it wasn't dated, that wouldn't change the essentials of why I am always simultaneously thrilled and frustrated by G.K. Chesterton. I may not agree with what he says, but I always adore how he says it. In that way he is like another English writer Christopher Hitchens. I would read Hitchens and practically yell and the book in parts, but God how I loved the gift of Hitch's words. Chesterton, if born 75 years later, may have had a sparing partner in Hitch. They seem very similar in rhetorical boldness.
Chesterton genius was (and probably still is) found in his playful use of paradox. He, I believe, is the master of rhetorical paradox. He doesn't just want to argue the point. He wants to twist the argument, reframe the debate, make a tangle of both sides, and show the world a third-way. He approaches issues of politics, class, sex, education and tries to show how often both sides of the argument are blind. He looks at a chessboard where both black and white pieces are stuck in a perpetual check and instead of suggesting a draw, he adds a couple pieces, or suggests billiards.
What is surprising is not how often I disagree with Chesterton, but how often I agree with a text that was written 107 years ago. It is also surprising (the math is easy here because he was born almost 100 years before me) to discover he was 35 when he wrote this book. It seems a bit curmudgeonly written for a 35 year-old. But that is also one of the charms of Chesterton. Even as a youth, his witty writings and his conservative attitudes seemed like those of a sarcastic, slightly drunk old sage than a haughty young intellectual. I may admire Charles Darwin more, but I'd probably want to drink with G.K. Chesterton.
15 su 17 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione
Chillingly contemporary for a work from this era. Poignant. Challenging. Excellent audio performance as well.
4 su 4 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione
great book great recording. the prince of paradox, the Apostle of Common Sense does it again.
I love GK Chesterton, my favorite book by his is Orthodoxy. this book has a great deal of insight, phenomenal philosophy, and excellent comparisons. With that said It suffers from the same eclectic thinking that GK Chesterton is known for. it bounces from topic to topic quickly, and doesn't summarize it until the very end.
On ce you get past some outdated ideas, you will find the philosophy quite creditable.
GH Chesterton's insightful but typically idiosyncratic opinions on a variety of then-current social issues in the UK. Some of the material is dated, but explanatory comments are incorporated very unobtrusively into the readings.
We need to understand a more traditional view of the nature of mankind. Is it possible that our wisdom has not kept pace with technology? Has our arrogance about our place in history of science blinded us to the failure of some of our social ideas? Is it possible that what we deem as archaic or obsolete could instruct us and provide some sanity?
Chesterton stops short of prescribing solutions but suscinctly describes the enduring problems of the world in a witty and creative way. I highly recommend this book.
I read the whole thing. The last portion of the book is the most insightful, but you have to get through some nonsense and plenty of painful argument against women's suffrage.
This was truly a great book! I would recommend it to anyone wanting to challenge their worldview.