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The Everlasting Man Paperback – 29 Sep 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Martino Fine Books (29 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578989825
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578989829
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 1 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

What--if anything--is it that makes the human uniquely human? This, in part, is the question that G.K. Chesterton starts with in this classic exploration of human history. Responding to the evolutionary materialism of his contemporary (and antagonist) H.G. Wells, Chesterton in this work affirms human uniqueness and the unique message of the Christian faith. Writing in a time when social Darwinism was rampant, Chesterton instead argued that the idea that society has been steadily progressing from a state of primitivism and barbarity towards "civilization" is simply and flatly inaccurate. "Barbarism and civilization were not successive stages in the progress of the world", he affirms, with arguments drawn from the histories of both Egypt and Babylon.

As always with Chesterton, there is in this analysis something (as he said of Blake) "very plain and emphatic". He sees in Christianity a rare blending of philosophy and mythology, or reason and story, which satisfies both the mind and the heart. On both levels it rings true. As he puts it, "in answer to the historical query of why it was accepted, and is accepted, I answer for millions of others in my reply; because it fits the lock; because it is like life". Here, as so often in Chesterton, we sense a lived, awakened faith. All that he himself writes derives from a keen intellect guided by the heart's own knowledge. --Doug Thorpe --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, England, in 1874. He went on to study art at the Slade School, and literature at University College in London. Chesterton wrote a great deal of poetry, as well as works of social and literary criticism. Among his most notable books are "The Man Who Was Thursday", a metaphysical thriller, and "The Everlasting Man", a history of humankind's spiritual progress. After Chesterton converted to Catholicism in 1922, he wrote mainly on religious topics such as "Orthodoxy" and "Heretics". Chesterton is most known for creating the famous priest-detective character Father Brown, who first appeared in "The Innocence of Father Brown". Chesterton died in 1936 at the age of 62.


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Format: Paperback
Everlasting Man had a decisive role in one of the most important conversions of the this century. C.S. Lewis described reading it in 1925 when he was still an atheist:
Then I read Chesterton's Everlasting Man and for the first time saw the whole Christian outline of history set out in a form that seemed to me to make sense . . . I already thought Chesterton the most sensible man alive "apart from his Christianity." Now, I veritably believe, I thought that Christianity itself was very sensible "apart from its Christianity." (Surprised by Joy p.223)
When asked what Christian writers had helped him, Lewis remarked in 1963, six months before he died, "The contemporary book that has helped me the most is Chesterton's The Everlasting Man." (God in the Dock p.260.)
The book has two parts. The first is titled "On the Creature called Man." It uses the available evidence from paleontology, an! cient history, comparative religions, etc. but brings it together in remarkable ways. The questions he asks (and to some extent, answers) are the ones we continue to brood over: How is man different from other animals? Why are there so many religions? How do we make some sense out of our long and tumultuous human history?
The questions raised in the first part receive a more definitive answer in the second: "On the Man called Christ." It is not that Jesus gives a step by step response to each of the queries. Rather he begins by throwing us into an even more perplexing quandary. Chesterton asks what it would really be like to read the Gospel free of all preconceptions. The effect would not be "gentle Jesus, meek and mild," but rather someone who jars our sensibilities.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My two-star rating for this book refers not to the great quality of the work, but to the poor quality printing of this 2008 hard-cover "First Edition" by "Wilder Publications".

I have little to add to previous comments and recommendations for Chesterton's "The Everlasting Man", though I would add, as an aside, that you don't have to be a Roman Catholic, or an Orthodox Christian in order to appreciate its arguments. The common-sense writing is witty and mostly good-humoured, though some youngsters might find the style a little archaic. (C S Lewis, in "Surprised by Joy", describes GKC as a most sensible author, and I certainly agree).

But, looking for a hard-cover version, I bought a recent publication of this work from "Wilder Publications" and now wish I hadn't. I would advise others to avoid it; it has many typographical mistakes and astonishing truncations. For example, most of Chesterton's wonderful (and crucial) introduction has been left out; "h"s have been printed as "b"s where the spell-checker would not notice ("had" becomes "bad", for instance); chapter headings are missing from the tops of pages within the chapter (always annoying); lines of text are too long and awkwardly spaced; punctuation marks improperly placed; in my view, all symptoms of a rather poor standard of publishing.

It is inexcusable, in my opinion, for great works of literature to be marketed in such feeble condition. Whatever happened to proof-reading and quality control?

So I suggest you look elswhere than to "Wilder's" amateurish effort for your copy. Let's hope that the "Second Edition" (if "Wilder" should ever print one) will at least be correct and unabridged.
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Format: Paperback
Wow, this book is really something special. Definitely one of those books that change the way you see something or at least makes you understand it a lot more profoundly. Chesterton in his witty and unique way shows us the whole history of mankind. It was a must have book for C.S. Lewis and he was quite selective, so that's saying a lot. I often felt that this is the way Christianity should have been explained to me from the start. Probably the best book for the modern Christian (besides the Bible).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amazon should force the publisher to pull or resupply this book: it is littered with typos and errors from scanning, and doesn't have a proper table of contents. A disgrace to the Kindle store and to G. K. Chesterton, whose greatest work deserves much better than this.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When reviewing books I prefer not to give away any real detail so as not to spoil the read for any potential buyer. If like me you are Chesterton fan then this, along with any of his books actually, will be an enjoyable and as always enlightening read. What more is there to say really?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know Chesterton is sometimes called the Apostle of Common sense, but he really is. I think this is a fascinating book for anyone with an interest in the meaning of life and how historical events have shaped the world. The dignity of humanity is shown as integral to every age, and Chesterton takes us through the sweep of history to show us what marks us out as being different to very other species on the planet. To find out what this something is, read the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book which had a big influence on C S Lewis. Apparently Lewis said it was the book that 'baptised his intellect' in the same way as he said that the writings of George MacDonald 'baptised his imagination'. To get The Everlasting Man on Kindle for such a price is certainly good news for thoughtful readers. Chesterton's style takes a bit of getting used to but that's a minor problem. The main value of the book for me is that it turns current thinking on its head (it was written in 1925 - so you have to make allowance for that to some extent) and encourages its readers to break out of the mold (mould?) into which any age tends to force us, often without us realising it. An intellectually refreshing book and an important contribution to literature in the modern age.
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