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Utopia of Usurers
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.
Kindle Edition, 189 pages
(first published 1917)
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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
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
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
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.
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.
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 ...moreMore about G.K. Chesterton...
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