G. K. Chesterton’s patriotism and growing sympathy for the poor had always vied with his appreciation of Jewish family values and his gratitude to the Jewish people for bringing God to the world. Then, with the rise of Nazism, Chesterton once again became their champion. Chesterton and the Jews peels away post-Holocaust assumptions to reveal his complex feelings for “the Jews”—admiration, fascination, and fear—uncovering neglected layers of meaning in stories hitherto seen as anti-Semitic.
No other work has considered this subject in such depth. Drawing upon Jewish publications, research into the Chesterton archives and genealogical records, painstaking analyses of Chesterton’s fiction and non-fiction—and including elucidations of the works of Shaw, Wells, Churchill, Belloc, and Cecil Chesterton, among others—Ann Farmer has made a signal contribution to the study of anti-Semitism, racism, eugenics, and Zionism. A question addressed only tangentially in Chesterton biographies is here fully explored. The many Chesterton admirers will see him from an entirely new perspective, one that will be valued also by Jews and Christians interested in the issue of anti-Semitism and the need to learn from the mistakes of the past in order to avoid future tragedies.
Speaking of the release of Farmer's book on Chesterton, the president of the Chesterton Institute for Faith and Culture and editor of The Chesterton Review, Rev. Ian Boyd said, “One runs the danger of triteness in saying that a book answers a long-felt need. But here is a book that does precisely that. Chesterton’s comments about Jews and Judaism have been the source of endless controversies and misunderstandings. Ann Farmer provides the first thorough and well-balanced discussion of the matter.”
U.S. Navy personnel have discovered the remains of an American aviator who was shot down in combat over the Pacific Ocean in 1944. A team aboard USNS ...