Appeared in 1986, Vol. 12, Nos. 3, 4

Every book has a history and the history of my life is the history of a book: Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. In responding to this invitation to write an appreciation of Gilbert Keith Chesterton’s famous work of apologetics, I find it impossible to do so without turning back to my youth. I have read this Christian classic some eighteen times prior to committing myself to this public tribute to its genius. When I was a boy I often haunted second-hand bookstores. One day I pulled out of a shelf a book called Orthodoxy. I had never heard of the author despite my being a student at a Catholic parochial school but I was intrigued by the title. I still own that copy, red cover stamped in gold, old when I bought it. It is laced with my youthful comments. Fortunately they and that book are far from where I write. Just yesterday I finished reading the work again, now for the first time in two decades or more. I approach this writing assignment with reverence.

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