Magazine August 1, 2011, Issue

How Big He Is

From the cover of G. K. Chesterton: A Biography (Oxford)
G. K. Chesterton: A Biography, by Ian Ker (Oxford, 747 pp., $65)

Chesterton wrote that, in a great biography, “the book vanishes and the man remains; not the man who wrote the book, but the man about whom it was written.” In the case of Boswell’s Johnson, the subject “remained” precisely because Boswell was “the first who discovered that in biography the suppression of a man’s faults did not merely wreck truth, but wrecked his virtues.” I suspect Chesterton would have approved of Ian Ker’s new biography of him for these reasons.

There has been no lack of popular books about Chesterton since his death, including a number of decent biographies, particularly those

To Read the Full Story
David P. DeavelMr. Deavel is the editor of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture and teaches at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

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