The Complete Thinker: The Marvelous Mind of G.K. Chesterton
What does it mean to be a “complete thinker”? It means being able to take on a wide variety of ideas and disciplines and put them all together in a way that they work together. It means thinking like G.K. Chesterton.
The English author G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) was one of the most prolific and well-known writers of his time, and one of the most widely quoted in our own. For newspapers and magazines, he wrote social commentary, literary criticism, and poetry with poignancy and wit. Creator of the beloved detective Father Brown, Chesterton also wrote novels and short stories.
“Thinking”, wrote Chesterton, “means connecting things.” His ideas are not only connected to each other, they are also connected to us, showing that the thought of Chesterton is timeless. In a world of increasing specialization, Chesterton connects us to the big picture by helping us see how the many and varied elements within our experience fit together. He sheds light on almost every subject and opens doors from one thing to another with dazzling clarity.
Drawing on literally hundreds of references from Chesterton’s vast writings, Dale Ahlquist conducts a symphony, with Chesterton playing all the instruments in perfect harmony.
Eric Johnson –
Even though this book is, in a lot of ways, intended as a follow-up for The Apostle of Common Sense, and Common Sense 101, I loved reading it just on its own merit (which it has in excess!). As usual, Dale Ahlquist really breaks open Chesterton and shows in ways we might not otherwise consider, Chesterton’s incredibly timely relevance to our modern day and age. Pick any major issue we struggle with as a culture, and Ahlquist shares the pithy thoughts Chesterton brought to that issue, from a wide variety of his works. Really, really fascinating to read. Also, loved the appendix of the Darrow v. Chesterton debate. Way too cool!
Stuart McCullough –
“I am sometimes asked if I ever read anything besides GK Chesterton. The answer, unfortunately, is yes. I wish I had a better answer— something more along the lines of no.” Dale Ahlquist, in the Introduction to The Complete Thinker, The Marvellous Mind of GK Chesterton.
So if we should only read GKC, then we should not read Dale Ahlquist. But as my long suffering Wife got me the book for my Birthday, it would have seemed ungrateful not to read it. Also I don’t just read GKC, there’s Belloc, Tolkien, Pearce, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Belloc, Cecil (GKC’s brother) Dale etc.
So, unless you’re only going to read GK Chesterton, ignore Mr Ahlquist’s advice and read his great book.
Dennis (verified owner) –
With this book, Ahlquist really gets into the real MEAT of Chesterton, and the Truths he illustrated better than anyone before or since. As with all Ahlquist’s other books on Chesterton, it’s easy reading, but very serious despite being humorous oftentimes. I really loved this book. It’s truly a masterpiece, in that Ahlquist collects various points Chesterton made, and connects them together in an easily understood and very clear unified whole that even teenagers should be able to “get.” It could well become my favorite book about or by Chesterton. Very concentrated in content, very readable and clearly understandable, and always entertaining and captivating. It’s very hard to put it down. You just want to keep reading, and when you come to the end, you want to read it yet again. That’s very rare in books today, and it’s one of the things that makes this book a really rare pearl of literature and philosophy.