What’s Wrong with the World? – Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton
The Apostolate of Common Sense

What’s Wrong with the World?

QUESTION: Is it true that The Times once sent out an inquiry to famous authors, asking the question, “What’s wrong with the world today?” and Chesterton responded simply,

“Dear Sir,

I am.

Yours, G.K. Chesterton.”

ANSWER: This story has been repeated so often about Chesterton that we suspect it is true. Also, it seems it is never told about any one other than Chesterton. What we have not found, however, is any documentary evidence for it. It may indeed be from The Times, as the story is usually told, but no one has taken the trouble to go through the back issues and find a copy of the actual letter. It has also been attributed to other papers, but again, no proof.

It is also entirely possible that it actually happened with another author, but has been attributed to Chesterton because it is typical of both his humility and his wit and because it is associated with the title of a book he wrote in 1910, What’s Wrong with the World.

If anyone out there can provide further information on this one, please let us know.

13 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with the World?”

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  8. I READ A LOT FROM GK CHESTERTON (ORTODOXY FATHER BROWN ET ALL) AND I LOVE HIS MODE OF WRITING BUT NOW I HAVE FOUND THAT MARSHALL MCLUHAN READ “WHATS WRONG WITH THE WORLD” AND IT CHANGED HIS LIFE
    SINCE I AM WRITING AN ESSAY ON GKCH I AM INTERESTED IN THE BOOK, WHERE I COULD FIND THE PDF VERSION? IF YOU BE SO KIND.
    THE REFERENCE SAYS GKCH WROTE IN A NON LINEAR MODE BUT ON A ANALOGICAL ONE DO YOU AGREE?
    JORGE GABRRIEL RODRIGUEZ REYES

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