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The New Jerusalem

G. K. Chesterton

Book Overview: 

“On the road to Cairo one may see twenty groups exactly like that of the Holy Family in the pictures of the Flight into Egypt; with only one difference. The man is riding on the ass.”

“The real mistake of the Muslims is something much more modern in its application than any particular passing persecution of Christians as such. It lay in the very fact that they did think they had a simpler and saner sort of Christianity, as do many modern Christians. They thought it could be made universal merely by being made uninteresting. Now a man preaching what he thinks is a platitude is far more intolerant than a man preaching what he admits is a paradox. It was exactly because it seemed self-evident, to Muslims as to Bolshevists, that their simple creed was suited to everybody, that they wished in that particular sweeping fashion to impose it on everybody.”

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .night; with the shadows that gather tinder the narrow Gate of Humility; and beside it, blank as daybreak and abrupt as an abyss, the broad road that has led already to destruction.

The gap remains like a gash, a sort of wound in the walls; but it only strengthens by contrast the general sense of their continuity. Save this one angle where the nineteenth century has entered, the vague impression of the thirteenth or fourteenth century rather deepens than dies away. It is supported more than many would suppose even by the figures that appear in the gateways or pass in procession under the walls. The brown Franciscans and the white Dominicans would alone give some colour to a memory of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem; and there are other examples and effects which are less easily imagined in the West. Thus as I look down the street, I see coming out from under an archway a woman wearing a high white head-dress very like those we have all seen in a hundred pictures o. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Ostensibly a travelogue, or possibly an essay on Zionism, The New Jerusalem is most powerful as a eulogy on the Middle Ages and the true end of the Roman Empire. If you ever wondered why a king so noble as Richard the Lionheart could abandon England for one of those dreadfully barbaric Crusades, thi

What can I say. Chesterton could write about making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and could make it riveting.

Well discussed controversy

As always Chesterton’s wit and elegance cuts through such a controversial topic as this one. He puts up a strong and thorough thesis of what he believes and why he believes it, presenting some undeniable facts and good argument. Whether or not you agree with his opinion sho

Being billed as a travelogue, this book wasn't quite what I expected. Or at all. But then, that's Chesterton. It's more of a series of random thoughts he had as he traveled to Jerusalem, which may only be tangentially related to where he was. Chesterton thinks so deeply that he's often misunderstood

When I read Chesterton I can understand why others have difficulties with reading him. He can be so scattershot wandering all over the place like one of his unexpected adventures. I am just glad that I do like reading him.

The New Jerusalem is a sort of philosophical travelogue. So kind of like all o

Chesterton takes a trip to Jerusalem, and talks about what he sees. More importantly, he speaks about what these things he sees make him think about. This book is a lengthy discourse about the Middle East, the relationships between East and West, and relationships between the various religions.


It strikes us as odd that a nail should be so valuable or so vivid to the imagination. And yet, to men so close to Calvary, even nails are not entirely commonplace.

This is a series of barely-connected essays dealing with Chesterton’s travels to Jerusalem in 1919, a couple of years after the Balfour

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