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The Everlasting Man

The Everlasting Man

A Guide to G.K. Chesterton’s Masterpiece

by G.K. Chesterton

Commentary by Dale Ahlquist

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Among the many masterpieces of G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man is his crowning achievement. It was the book that set a young atheist named C.S. Lewis on the path toward Christianity. Evelyn Waugh called it “a permanent monument” that “needs no elucidation.” And its lively prose and compelling defense of Christianity have dazzled readers ever since.

But a little elucidation, it turns out, is needed. Chesterton’s presentation of the story of humanity and religion is filled with obscure literary, historical, mythological, philosophical, and theological references—most of which are largely lost on today’s readers. And Chesterton’s paradoxical and apparently wandering style proves, at times, disorienting to newcomers.

In this groundbreaking guide—the first of its kind—one of the world’s leading authorities on Chesterton walks readers through the entirety of this great apologist’s text. Complete with an introduction, footnotes, and running commentary, Dale Ahlquist’s tour through Chesterton’s classic will draw new readers into his literary world—and old readers even deeper into his literary genius.

More Info

Publisher: Word on Fire
ISBN: 978-1-68578-092-0
Binding: Hardcover
Page count: 520
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8
Language: English
Release date: Mar 18, 2024
Thickness: 1.58 (in)
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About the Commentary Author

Dale Ahlquist is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on the life and writings of G.K. Chesterton. He is President of the Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, editor and publisher of Gilbert magazine, creator and host of EWTN’s long-running series The Apostle of Common Sense, and founder of the Chesterton Schools Network.

What People are Saying

“Chesterton is arguably the greatest apologist of the Catholic literary revival, and The Everlasting Man is arguably his greatest work of apologetics. Dale Ahlquist is arguably the greatest apologist for Chesterton and the key figure in the Chesterton revival. There is, therefore, no better person to guide us through The Everlasting Man than Dale Ahlquist. He takes us further up and further in. He dives and delves deeper. He enables us to fathom the depths of Chesterton's brilliance as expressed in what is probably Chesterton's most brilliant work. I am so grateful to Word on Fire for publishing this indispensable book. It is an answer to prayer.”

— Joseph Pearce, Author of Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton

“St. John Paul II once wrote that ‘Jesus Christ is the answer to the question that is posed by every human life.’ One hundred years ago, G.K. Chesterton set out to unpack this idea in his spiritual odyssey, The Everlasting Man. If it is true that Chesterton was one of the most complete writers of the twentieth century, then The Everlasting Man is the most complete book Chesterton ever wrote. Dale Ahlquist, arguably the world’s greatest living expert on the writings of G.K. Chesterton, has given us an opportunity, with helpful notes and ongoing commentary, to delve deeply into the genius of Chesterton on the most fundamental questions of the human experience. Hard to categorize, The Everlasting Man is a philosophical, theological, historical, and literary masterpiece. I actually read this book in my undergraduate years, before my conversion to the Catholic Church, and it was a huge stepping stone in my own crossing of the Tiber. I am thrilled that this epic work is being republished again. The reader will not be disappointed!”

— Bishop James Conley, Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska

“When people ask me what three books to read to understand the world, I always tell them Manzoni’s The Betrothed, because it contains all social thought; Undset’s Kristen Lavransdatter, because it contains all moral theology; and Chesterton’s Everlasting Man, because it contains all human history. Why? All human history converges on the Incarnation and then proceeds from it. Chesterton stands alongside St. Augustine in opening our eyes and hearts to this reality, and Dale Ahlquist has done nothing short of heroic work in at last giving mankind an edition worthy of the masterpiece.”

— Christopher Check, President of Catholic Answers​

“G.K. Chesterton’s robust and rollicking The Everlasting Man is one of those volumes that is everlastingly fresh and up to date. Nevertheless, many of Chesterton's contemporary references can make the text confusing for the modern reader. Dale Ahlquist, Chesterton’s supreme commentator and promoter, provides the notes and explanations that illuminate the obscure references for a new generation of readers. This volume should be on the required reading list for every high school and college student.”

— Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Blogger, speaker, and author of Beheading Hydra and Immortal Combat

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