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By: G. K. Chesterton

What I Saw in America by G. K. Chesterton What I Saw in America

“Let me begin my American impressions with two impressions I had before I went to America. One was an incident and the other an idea; and when taken together they illustrate the attitude I mean. The first principle is that nobody should be ashamed of thinking a thing funny because it is foreign; the second is that he should be ashamed of thinking it wrong because it is funny.” (Gilbert Keith Chesterton)

The New Jerusalem by G. K. Chesterton The New Jerusalem

“On the road to Cairo one may see twenty groups exactly like that of the Holy Family in the pictures of the Flight into Egypt; with only one difference. The man is riding on the ass.” “The real mistake of the Muslims is something much more modern in its application than any particular passing persecution of Christians as such. It lay in the very fact that they did think they had a simpler and saner sort of Christianity, as do many modern Christians. They thought it could be made universal merely by being made uninteresting...

The Crimes of England by G. K. Chesterton The Crimes of England

“Second, when telling such lies as may seem necessary to your international standing, do not tell the lies to the people who know the truth. Do not tell the Eskimos that snow is bright green; nor tell the negroes in Africa that the sun never shines in that Dark Continent. Rather tell the Eskimos that the sun never shines in Africa; and then, turning to the tropical Africans, see if they will believe that snow is green. Similarly, the course indicated for you is to slander the Russians to the English and the English to the Russians; and there are hundreds of good old reliable slanders which can still be used against both of them...

The Defendant by G. K. Chesterton The Defendant

A collection of reprinted articles on a wide-range of subject, all in the unique style of G. K. Chesterton. Using wit, paradox, and good humor he “defends” a series of seeming harmless things that need no defense, and in so doing he exposes many of the broken assumptions and dogmatic notions of secular humanism and other trends of his age and of ours.

The Appetite of Tyranny by G. K. Chesterton The Appetite of Tyranny

“Unless we are all mad, there is at the back of the most bewildering business a story: and if we are all mad, there is no such thing as madness. If I set a house on fire, it is quite true that I may illuminate many other people’s weaknesses as well as my own. It may be that the master of the house was burned because he was drunk; it may be that the mistress of the house was burned because she was stingy, and perished arguing about the expense of the fire-escape. It is, nevertheless, broadly true that they both were burned because I set fire to their house. That is the story of the thing. The mere facts of the story about the present European conflagration are quite as easy to tell.”

Tremendous Trifles by G. K. Chesterton Tremendous Trifles

“None of us think enough of these things on which the eye rests. But don’t let us let the eye rest. Why should the eye be so lazy? Let us exercise the eye until it learns to see startling facts that run across the landscape as plain as a painted fence. Let us be ocular athletes. Let us learn to write essays on a stray cat or a coloured cloud. I have attempted some such thing in what follows; but anyone else may do it better, if anyone else will only try. ” (Gilbert Keith Chesterton)

Varied Types by G. K. Chesterton Varied Types

Another delightful and sharply pointed excursion into the topics of the day, and of our day as well, with Gilbert Keith Chesterton. Here he uses his wit and mastery of paradox to bring into focus a number of historical persons who in many ways typify the people who presently shape our world and who in their own right have already shaped Western civilization. These reprinted magazine articles are filled with his good natured wit and devastating ability to use reductio ad absurdum to destroy the popular myths that drive our society at full-speed into, and expose the utter nonsense that underlies, secular humanism. You will come away with yet another new collection of wonderful quotes.

A Utopia of Usurers by G. K. Chesterton A Utopia of Usurers

“Now I have said again and again (and I shall continue to say again and again on all the most inappropriate occasions) that we must hit Capitalism, and hit it hard, for the plain and definite reason that it is growing stronger. Most of the excuses which serve the capitalists as masks are, of course, the excuses of hypocrites. They lie when they claim philanthropy; they no more feel any particular love of men than Albu felt an affection for Chinamen. They lie when they say they have reached their position through their own organising ability...

The Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens by G. K. Chesterton The Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens

“These papers were originally published as prefaces to the separate books of Dickens in one of the most extensive of those cheap libraries of the classics which are one of the real improvements of recent times. Thus they were harmless, being diluted by, or rather drowned in Dickens. My scrap of theory was a mere dry biscuit to be taken with the grand tawny port of great English comedy; and by most people it was not taken at all–like the biscuit. Nevertheless the essays were not in intention so aimless as they appear in fact...

A Miscellany of Men by G. K. Chesterton A Miscellany of Men

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was among the world’s most prolific writers who incorporated relentless logic, wonderful humor, and a clear view of truth into an amazing tool for exposing the foolishness of the policies of the world around him through the device of paradox.It is always great fun, and certainly always a learning experience to read Chesterton. A Miscellany of Men may be his hardest work to define, as it deals with a huge array of issues, using “personal types” as illustration. It would...

Irish Impressions by G. K. Chesterton Irish Impressions

“For the Irish Question has never been discussed in England. Men have discussed Home Rule; but those who advocated it most warmly, and as I think wisely, did not even know what the Irish meant by Home. Men have talked about Unionism; but they have never even dared to propose Union. A Unionist ought to mean a man who is not even conscious of the boundary of the two countries; who can walk across the frontier of fairyland, and not even notice the walking haystack. As a fact, the Unionist always shoots at the haystack; though he never hits it...

Robert Browning by G. K. Chesterton Robert Browning

There is an old anecdote, probably apocryphal, which describes how a feminine admirer wrote to Browning asking him for the meaning of one of his darker poems, and received the following reply: “When that poem was written, two people knew what it meant–God and Robert Browning. And now God only knows what it means.

Lord Kitchener by G. K. Chesterton Lord Kitchener

“The paradox of all this part of his life lies in this–that, destined as he was to be the greatest enemy of Mahomedanism, he was quite exceptionally a friend of Mahomedans.”

By: Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)

Hans Christian Andersen: Fairytales and Short Stories Volume 1, 1835 to 1842 by Hans Christian Andersen Hans Christian Andersen: Fairytales and Short Stories Volume 1, 1835 to 1842

A collection of some of Hans Christian Andersen's works. He is a Danish author and poet most famous for his fairy tales.

By: Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Walking by Henry David Thoreau Walking

This was originally a lecture given by Thoreau in 1851 at the Concord lyceum titled “The Wild” . He revised it before his death and it was included as part of the June 1862 edition of Atlantic Monthly. This essay appears, on the surface, to be simply expounding the qualities of Nature and man’s place therein. Through this medium he not only touches those subjects, but with the implications of such a respect for nature, or lack thereof.

By: Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal

A satirical essay written by one of the most renowned satirists, Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal expresses the author’s exasperation with the ill treatment of impoverished Irish citizens as a result of English exploitation and social inertia. Furthermore, Swift ventilates the severity of Ireland’s political incompetence, the tyrannical English policies, the callous attitudes of the wealthy, and the destitution faced by the Irish people. Focusing on numerous aspects of society including government exploitation, reckless greed, hypocrisy, apathy, and prejudice, the essay successfully exemplifies Swift’s satirical skills...

By: Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527)

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince

Machiavelli has created a ruthless guide on how to rule the country in his volume "The Prince". The book is dedicated to Lorenzo De Medici, the ruler of Florence. The author explains in simple language about the nature of great men and the characters of the government. The first chapter gives an outline of the book discussing various styles of ruling as a prince, character traits that a ruler should have and the political situation of Italy in the 16th century. The book is composed of 26 chapters which fall into four major sections...

By: James Allen (1864-1912)

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen As a Man Thinketh

“A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts,” is one of the quotes from James Allen's classic self help books, As a Man Thinketh. Published in 1902, it provides many more such insightful concepts on the power of thought and its effect on a human being's personality and behavior. This volume is more of a literary essay than a complete book and its title is based on a Biblical proverb, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Taking this piece of ancient wisdom further, James Allen explores the far-reaching effects of the inner workings of a person's mind and motivation...

By: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

The Wound Dresser by Walt Whitman The Wound Dresser

The Wound Dresser is a series of letters written from the hospitals in Washington by Walt Whitman during the War of the Rebellion to The New York Times, the Brooklyn Eagle and his mother, edited by Richard Maurice Burke, M.D., one of Whitman's literary executors.

By: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind by Jean-Jacques Rousseau A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind

This work presents Rousseau’s belief in the profoundly transformational effects of the development of civilization on human nature, which Rousseau claims other political philosophers had failed to grasp. Specifically, before the onset of civilization, according to Rousseau, natural man lived a contented, solitary life, naturally good and happy. It is only with the onset of civilization, Rousseau claims, that humans become social beings, and, concomitant with their civilization, natural man becomes corrupted with the social vices of pride, vanity, greed and servility.

By: Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln The Gettysburg Address

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, given November 19, 1863 on the battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live...

Lincoln at Cooper Union by Abraham Lincoln Lincoln at Cooper Union

On 27 February 1860, Abraham Lincoln gave this address at the Cooper Union in New York City. When he gave the speech, Lincoln was considered by many to be just a country lawyer. After he gave the speech, he soon became his party’s nominee for president.

By: Karl Marx (1818-1883)

Book cover Revolution and Counter-Revolution, or: Germany in 1848

Revolution and Counter-Revolution is an account of what happened in Prussia, Austria and other German states during 1848, describing the impact on both middle-class and working-class aspirations and on the idea of German unification. Events in Austria and Prussia are discussed, along with the role of the Poles and Czechs and Panslavism, which Engels was against.

By: Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow by Jerome K. Jerome Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, published in 1886, is a collection of humorous essays by Jerome K. Jerome. It was the author’s second published book and helped establish him as a leading English humorist. The book consists of 14 independent articles arranged by themes.

Told after Supper by Jerome K. Jerome Told after Supper

It is Christmas Eve, and the narrator, his uncle and sundry other local characters are sitting round the fire drinking copious quantities of whisky punch and telling ghost stories until bedtime, when… But no, I won’t spoil the fun. This is a little gem: Jerome at his tongue-in-cheek best.

Stage Land by Jerome K. Jerome Stage Land

A comic look at the curious habits and customs of the inhabitants of ‘Stage Land’. Dedicated to ‘that highly respectable but unnecessarily retiring individual, of whom we hear so much but see so little, “the earnest student of drama”

By: Alexander Hamilton (1755/1757-1804)

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton The Federalist Papers

In order to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution in the late 1780s, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Hay wrote a series of 85 articles and essays explaining their reasons to support the constitution. Most of these articles were published in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet and they later became known as “The Federalist Papers.” In reading the articles, one will encounter very interesting issues like Hamilton’s opposition to including the Bill of Rights in the Constitution and why he thinks a Union is better than a Confederation...

By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

Literary Taste: How to Form It by Arnold Bennett Literary Taste: How to Form It

Arnold Bennett describes a method for enjoying literature, and suggests the contents of a comprehensive library. Chapters 1-10 and 14 describe his method for learning to enjoy literature. Chapters 11, 12, and 13 contain detailed lists of the 337 volumes required to complete a comprehensive library of English works. This reading is from the 1913 version at Project Gutenberg, and so does not contain the revisions made by Swinnerton for the 1939 edition, which included authors of the early Twentieth Century. Swinnerton’s revisions are available from Wikipedia.

The Human Machine by Arnold Bennett The Human Machine

Bennett asks us to consider our brains as the most wonderful machine, a machine which is the only thing in this world that we can control. As he writes: "I am simply bent on calling your attention to a fact which has perhaps wholly or partially escaped you -- namely, that you are the most fascinating bit of machinery that ever was."As ever, his prose is honeyed, his thoughts inspired, and his advice as relevant today as when it was written. (Introduction by Ruth Golding)

By: Grenville Kleiser (1868-1953)

Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases by Grenville Kleiser Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases

Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases is a practical handbook written by Grenville Kleiser. Grenville is known for his writings on humor, positive thinking and inspirational thought. This serves as a handbook of pertinent expressions, striking similes and terms for embellishing speech and literature. This book can be used to improve vocabulary for reading, writing and speaking alike. Through mastery of words, the most powerful and perfect expression of thought can be delivered orally. Choosing the correct words conveys ideas in a crisp and clear way that will hold and audience's attention...

By: John Bunyan (1628-1688)

Miscellaneous Pieces by John Bunyan Miscellaneous Pieces

John Bunyan (November 28, 1628 – August 31, 1688), a Christian writer and preacher, was born at Harrowden (one mile south-east of Bedford), in the Parish of Elstow, England. He wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress, arguably the most famous published Christian allegory. In the Church of England he is remembered with a Lesser Festival on 30 August. Bunyan became a popular preacher as well as a prolific author, though most of his works consist of expanded sermons. In theology he was a Puritan, but there was nothing gloomy about him. The portrait his friend Robert White drew, which has often been reproduced, shows the attractiveness of his true character.

By: John Milton (1608-1674)

Areopagitica by John Milton Areopagitica

A prose tract or polemic by John Milton, published November 23, 1644, at the height of the English Civil War… Milton, though a supporter of the Parliament, argued forcefully against the Licensing Order of 1643, noting that such censorship had never been a part of classical Greek and Roman society. The tract is full of biblical and classical references which Milton uses to strengthen his argument. The issue was personal for Milton as he had suffered censorship himself in his efforts to publish...


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