278 Pages
English

What I Saw in America

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An eloquent record of the polymath G. K. Chesterton’s experiences on a lecture tour of the US in 1921.


‘What I Saw in America’ is an eloquent record of the polymath G. K. Chesterton’s experiences on a lecture tour of the US in 1921. Many of Chesterton’s reflections are timeless and startlingly prescient, and though unsparingly critical at times he was enthralled by the glorious ideals of the nation – founded on principles of equality, democracy and freedom. Among the finest of Chesterton’s works, the book overflows with wry humour, sympathy and intelligence playing devilishly against an irrepressible mischievousness.


1. What is America?; 2. A Meditation in a New York Hotel; 3. A Meditation in Broadway; 4. Irish and other Interviewers; 5. Some American Cities; 6. In the American Country; 7. The American Business Man; 8. Presidents and Problems; 9. Prohibition in Fact and Fancy; 10. Fads and Public Opinion; 11. The Extraordinary American; 12. The Republican in the Ruins; 13. Is the Atlantic Narrowing?; 14. Lincoln and Lost Causes; 15. Wells and the World State; 16. A New Martin Chuzzlewit; 17. The Spirit of America; 18. The Spirit of England ; 19. The Future of Democracy

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Published 01 February 2009
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EAN13 9780857286925
Language English
Document size 4 MB

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Exrait

Anthem Popular American History
What I Saw in America
What I Saw in America
g.k. chesterton
Introduction by Simon P. Newman
Anthem Press An imprint of Wimbledon Publishing Company www.anthempress.com
This edition first published in UK and USA 2009 by ANTHEM PRESS 7576 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HA, UK or PO Box 9779, London SW19 7ZG, UK and 244 Madison Ave. #116, New York, NY 10016, USA
First published by Dodd, Mead and Company, New York, 1922
Introduction © Simon P. Newman 2009
The moral right of the authors has been asserted. All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith), 1874–1936. What I saw in America / G.K. Chesterton; introduction by Simon P. Newman. p. cm. “First published in the UK by Dodd, Mead, and Company, 1922”—T.p. verso. ISBN 9781843313007 (pbk.) 1. United States—Description and travel. 2. United States—Social life and customs—1918–1945. 3. Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith), 1874–1936—Travel—United States. 4. United States—Civilization—1918–1945. 5. National characteristics, American. I. Title.
E169.C52 2007 917.304’914—dc22 2007050840
ISBN10: 1 84331 300 6 (Pbk) ISBN13: 978 1 84331 3 00 7 (Pbk)
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
Contents
List of Illustrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ix Introduction by Simon P. Newman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xiii
1. What is America? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2. A Meditation in a New York Hotel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 3. A Meditation in Broadway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 4. Irish and other Interviewers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 5. Some American Cities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 6. In the American Country . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 7. The American Business Man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 8. Presidents and Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 9. Prohibition in Fact and Fancy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 10. Fads and Public Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 11. The Extraordinary American . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 12. The Republican in the Ruins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163 13. Is the Atlantic Narrowing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175 14. Lincoln and Lost Causes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187 15. Wells and the World State. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197 16. A New Martin Chuzzlewit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 17. The Spirit of America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223 18. The Spirit of England . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 19. The Future of Democracy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247
Frontispiece
Introduction
Page 1
Page 17
Page 29
Page 41
Page 55
Page 69
List of Illustrations
New York City. Lower New York from New Jersey ferry II, by Theodor Horydczak. Portrait of the author from ‘Current Times.’ Copyright New York Times, 1915. Young women picketing outside the White House gates with an “amnesty for war protesters” sign, with portrait of Harding, which reads: “This is the President who pleaded to set the law aside for a dog. Long after the law has been repealed he still keeps our fathers in prison for expressing their opinions in time of war.” National Photo Company Collection (Library of Congress), 1922. The last of the Horses Engine Co. 205, New York Fire Department. National Photo Company Collection, 1922.
View of building at corner of Broadway and Park Place, New York City, with pedestrians walking along street. Sign on top of building reads “Irving Underhill General Photographer.” Copyright Irving Underhill, New York, 1922.
New York, Ellis Island. Immigrants walking across pier from bridge. National Photo Company Collection.
City experiment in gardening, New York City. Three men, in foreground, in garden project in New York City park. Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection, 1922.
Women out in force: men and women at voting poll, Oliver and Henry Streets, New York City. National Photo Company Collection, 1922.
ix
List of Illustrations
Page 83
Page 103
Page 123
Page 137
Page 153
Page 163
Page 175
Page 187
Page 197
Page 211
Board room, New York City Stock Exchange. Copyright New York Stock Exchange. Warren G. Harding, threequarter length portrait, seated at desk, facing left. Copyright Lucia A. Weeks, 1920. Woman putting flask in her Russian boot (Washington, D.C.). National Photo Company Collection, 1922.
Large group, mostly women, raising a “No More War” banner over the headquarters of the National Council for Reduction of Armaments—the same building as headquarters for National League of Women Voters on 17th St., Washington, D.C. Herbert E. French, National Photo Company, 1922. Elephant caddie on Miami golf course. Herbert E. French, National Photo Company, 1922. Statue of Liberty, New York City. Copyright George P. Hall & Son, 1898. In the Surf, Atlantic City, N.J. Copyright by Standard Scenic Co., 1906. Lincoln Statue, Lincoln Park (Washington, D.C.). National Photo Company, 1919. A day on a debutante’s calendar. National Photo Company Collection, 1922. Two panel illustrations showing a distraught Charles Dickens standing with another man behind the door to his hotel room, on the other side of which is a group of people portraying characters from Dickens’ novel, “Martin Chuzzlewit.” The man behind the door responds to the “acquaintances’” entreaties by stating that Mr. Dickens is “not at home.” Illus. in: Harper’s weekly, v. 11, no. 573 (21 December 1867), p. 812.
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