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G.K. Chesterton's writing career spanned some 35 years, during which he wrote nearly 100 books and thousands of articles in over 125 different periodicals, on topics ranging from Travel, Economics and Politics to Religion and Philosophy. His command of the language and his tremendous power of clear and precise exposition made him one of the leading literary and apologetic figures of early twentieth-century England. His use of paradox as a linguistic weapon-of-war, coupled with his wit and boisterous good heart, won him friends everywhere, and profound respect even from his ideological enemies. In his roles as social commentator, political analyst, orator, and humorist, G.K. exhibited a magnificent zeal for life and literature. However, the greatest quality of this great man was his insistence on speaking his own mind, without fear or favor: "I believe in getting into hot water," he said, "it keeps you clean."
The Outline of Sanity
might rightly be called A Manual of Distributism, for it outlines the essential principles of G.K. Chesterton's social vision known as Distributism. It is a book of sweeping vision – putting into words the common suspicion that there must be an alternative to the increasingly fast-paced and often meaningless blur of modern life. It is at the same time a practical book, suggesting the steps necessary to bring society back to its senses. Not, however, a phoney "self-help" book, replete with platitudes and banalities, The Outline of Sanity is a Manual for the Common Man to help him regain control over his life and destiny.
Chesterton was not a mere journalist, he was a visionary; a man who saw with tremendous clarity the dangerous trends of the time, and who likewise saw how such trends could be fought and defeated – not by huge political machines or vast sums of money, but by the daily activity of ordinary men and women who wanted more from life. He believed that the widespread ownership of property – land, houses, machines – coupled with a moral and religious view of Man and Society could bring about that happiness which has not been known in the Western world for at least five centuries. A distillation of the immense truth to be found in Catholic Social Teaching, his doctrine of Distributism grew from Catholic roots but attracted people of all religious persuasions – for the simple reason that it was true.
In a world of Lies, there is no better antidote than the Truth. In a world of Chaos, there is no greater leaven than Order. In a world gone mad, there is no greater aid than The Outline of Sanity.