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Utopia of Usurers

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  59 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
An engaging work sure to appeal to both scholars and students for the depth of its thought and the freshness of its claims, this is a two-part book by one of the 20th century's greatest writers. The first part is a coherent analysis of the theory, effects, and claims of capitalism. The second is a lengthy collection of articles from Chesterton's vast journalistic output. T ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Ihs Press (first published 1917)
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Feb 06, 2011 Jim rated it it was ok
Shelves: chesterton, politics
For over thirty years, G. K. Chesterton has been one of my favorite authors, but this month has made me question my evaluation to some extent. First I read Lord Kitchener, which had the virtue of being short and crisp; but The Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays displayed the author as a fish out of water. He begins by describing a nebulous plot by rich capitalists to sap the rights of the common man. He tries to follow a closely reasoned approach -- which is exactly what this author should not d ...more
Feb 08, 2016 Todd rated it it was ok
A disappointment, mostly, though not without some redeeming features. The work constitutes Chesterton's World War I-era screed against capitalism. Particularly in the beginning, it is in parts hardly coherent. He makes ridiculous claims like people would appreciate getting broken products from a large firm simply because it comes from a large operation. While he may have a point that people are inherently (and perhaps unnecessarily?) impressed by size alone, this sort of "evidence" actually hurt ...more
At least once a year, I rather like to experience books and movies on their centennial, and so it happens that upon browsing my options for 1917, I figured I might as well see what Chesterton had to say. This particular collection of essays takes aim at capitalism with a number of prescient observations. A few choice quotes follow:

"There will be no art that might not just as well be advertisement."

"The sight of a millionaire is seldom, in the ordinary sense, an enchanting sight: nevertheless, he
Mark Foster
Aug 18, 2014 Mark Foster rated it really liked it
As a relative newcomer to Chesterton it is none the less quite clear this work is a little atypical to his oeuvre in this provocative, sometimes prophetic if slightly uneven work. Certainly it's clear while the wit is a little less evident than usual, the righteous anger he feels against the capitalist 'usurer' is, whilst often present in his polemics, here most pronounced and a century on gives us a compelling reminder that Chesterton the Catholic and Chesterton the reactionary do not stand in ...more
Nov 02, 2011 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually enjoy Chesterton. This collection of essays had a few more out-dated allusions than usual. Also, I hadn't realized how much he hated Capitalists. He had no love for Socialists, either, so I'm left wondering what economic system he would espouse. He made good observations about the excesses of greed and exploitation of the common man.
Oct 28, 2012 Debra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: third-way
One of the classic texts for anyone interested in the rich heritage of Catholic social doctrine. Reading it in the midde of the 2012 election season, I was amazed at how fresh and timely much of the book still is.
Aug 07, 2013 Vicki rated it really liked it
Chestertonian economics.
Aug 22, 2013 Larry rated it it was ok
It's fine. I guess
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Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was born in London, educated at St. Paul’s, and went to art school at University College London. In 1900, he was asked to contribute a few magazine articles on art criticism, and went on to become one of the most prolific writers of all time. He wrote a hundred books, contributions to 200 more, hundreds of poems, including the epic Ballad of the White Horse, fi ...more
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