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What I Saw in America

G. K. Chesterton

Book Overview: 

“Let me begin my American impressions with two impressions I had before I went to America. One was an incident and the other an idea; and when taken together they illustrate the attitude I mean. The first principle is that nobody should be ashamed of thinking a thing funny because it is foreign; the second is that he should be ashamed of thinking it wrong because it is funny.”

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Chesterton Takes Sides in Trolley Strike.' This was inaccurate. When I spoke I not only did not know that there was any trolley strike,[Pg 59] but I did not know what a trolley strike was. I should have had an indistinct idea that a large number of citizens earned their living by carrying things about in wheel-barrows, and that they had desisted from the beneficent activities. Any one who did not happen to be a journalist, or know a little about journalism, American and English, would have supposed that the same man who wrote the article had suddenly gone mad and written the title. But I know that we have here to deal with two different types of journalists; and the man who writes the headlines I will not dare to describe; for I have not seen him except in dreams.

Another innocent complication is that the interviewer does sometimes translate things into his native language. It would not seem odd that a French interviewer should translate them into French; and it i. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Inteligentísimo por donde se le lea, tanto que a veces hay que descansar de él.
Eso sí: como toda gran crónica, en algún momento se vuelve un lúcido ensayo.

This book really deserves 3.5 stars. It’s based on a trip G.K. Chesterton took to America in 1922 to deliver some lectures. He is certainly a beautiful writer, but this is not an easy read, give some references are out-of-date or most folks won’t be familiar with. I love his discussion of applying f

“We cannot be certain of being right about the future; but we can be almost certain of being wrong about the future, if we are wrong about the past.”

I learned a lot from this book and though some of the issues he addressed, like Prohibition, were specific to what was happening during his life 100 ye

First off, 'What I saw in America' is not a travel commentary relating humorous anecdotes about his journeys in the style of, say, Twain. Chesterton tells only a handful of stories of his time in the States but then, in his inimitable manner, uses those as springboards to write about 'big ideas,' ma

What I Saw in America is less about what G.K. Chesterton saw in America than what the idea of America meant to him as an Englishman. Not a word is said about whether GKC took the train or any Mississippi River steamboats, what he ate, whether he visited anyone at home, whether he saw any of the coun

This is the 2nd book I've read by him and I flew through both books with ease especially this one . There are some authors who's writing regardless of the topic that whatever they write flows easily .You either like a style and it reads quickly and satisfyingly or it doesn't . I ate this book up and

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