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A History of the United States   By: (1879-1918)

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Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.

A HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

[Illustration: Russell & Sons photo

CECIL CHESTERTON]

A HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

BY

CECIL CHESTERTON

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY

G. K. CHESTERTON

LONDON

CHATTO & WINDUS

1919

First published January 16, 1919

Second impression January 17, 1919

All rights reserved

DEDICATED TO

MY COMRADE AND HOSPITAL MATE,

LANCE CORPORAL WOOD,

OF THE KING'S OWN LIVERPOOLS,

CITIZEN OF MASSACHUSETTS,

WHO JOINED THE BRITISH ARMY IN

AUGUST, 1914.

" ... O more than my brother, how shall I thank thee for all? Each of the heroes around us has fought for his house and his line, But thou hast fought for a stranger in hate of a wrong not thine. Happy are all free peoples too strong to be dispossessed, But happiest those among nations that dare to be strong for the rest."

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.

INTRODUCTION

The author of this book, my brother, died in a French military hospital of the effects of exposure in the last fierce fighting that broke the Prussian power over Christendom; fighting for which he had volunteered after being invalided home. Any notes I can jot down about him must necessarily seem jerky and incongruous; for in such a relation memory is a medley of generalisation and detail, not to be uttered in words. One thing at least may fitly be said here. Before he died he did at least two things that he desired. One may seem much greater than the other; but he would not have shrunk from naming them together. He saw the end of an empire that was the nightmare of the nations; but I believe it pleased him almost as much that he had been able, often in the intervals of bitter warfare and by the aid of a brilliant memory, to put together these pages on the history, so necessary and so strangely neglected, of the great democracy which he never patronised, which he not only loved but honoured.

Cecil Edward Chesterton was born on November 12, 1879; and there is a special if a secondary sense in which we may use the phrase that he was born a fighter. It may seem in some sad fashion a flippancy to say that he argued from his very cradle. It is certainly, in the same sad fashion, a comfort, to remember one truth about our relations: that we perpetually argued and that we never quarrelled. In a sense it was the psychological truth, I fancy, that we never quarrelled because we always argued. His lucidity and love of truth kept things so much on the level of logic, that the rest of our relations remained, thank God, in solid sympathy; long before that later time when, in substance, our argument had become an agreement. Nor, I think, was the process valueless; for at least we learnt how to argue in defence of our agreement... Continue reading book >>




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