of the Church of England, in particularnDean Inge and Bishop Barnes of Birmingham,nthe latter an oddity who advocatedn”race hygiene” and speculated thatnSt. Francis owed his stigmata to scratchingninstead of washing. There are alsoncontributions by specialists on theologicalnmodernism. Emile Poulat writesnon “The Catholic Church in the ModernistnRevolution,” and Gabriel Daly onn”Apologetics in the Modernist CulturalnContext.” From these essays one gathersnthat, despite the fulminations of PiusnX, modernism has triumphed.nThe chief focus of the book is onnChesterton, and here the big difficulty isnthat during the crisis Chesterton wasnan Anglican who was not very interestednin Rome’s troubles. His attention wasnfocused on the larger phenomenon of culturalnmodernism; this was the whole ofnwhich the Church’s troubles were a part.nIan Boyd, the Review’s editor, has madenthe best of Chesterton’s sketchy non-nCatholic views of the subject in “Chesterton’snAnglican Reaction to Modemism.”nAidan Nichols argues in “Chesterton andnModernism” that Chesterton as anCatholic combined theological orthodoxynwith social modernism, and praises hisnwork as an early example of liberation theology.nOne sees why that formulation”nshould have gratified some Catholicnreviewers. A simpler explanation ofnChesterton’s odd mix of the traditionalnand the modem is that, like many compatriots,nhe traveled to Rome via Canterburynand took a lot of Anglican baggagenalong with him, including his socialnviews.nThe strongest essay is John Coates’sn”Chesterton and the Modemist CulturalnContext,” based on the “obvious butnessential point” that Chesterton detectednand attacked modemism “in so manyndepartments of life and thought.” Thisnformidable piece corrects the parochialismnof literary and artistic criticism bynpointing out that the heart of modemismnis not in the aesthetic styles of the postwarnyears, but, as Chesterton understood,nin the later Victorian j^eriod with its contendingnevolutionary and immanentistncosmologies associated with Nietzsche,nHaeckel, Spencer, and Shaw among others.nIan Crowther also presents Chestertonnas a champion of antimodernism in annelegantly written little book that is a goodnintroduction to Chesterton’s thought.nThough not a biography, it follows a biographicalnpattem. Its five chapters beginnwith the “heresies” the young Chestertonnfirst attacked, proceed to the orthodoxynhe adopted and defended, and endnwith a particularly good account of thensocial thought that occupied his laternyears.nThese are both admirable books, andnyet each, approaching Chesterton exclusivelynas an antimodernist, now seemsnslightly off-target. Chesterton wins hisnarguments so easily in Ian Crowther’snpages that one wonders why his modemistnopponents bothered arguing withnhim. M. Poulat has the answer: perhapsnthey didn’t. He tells us that modemismnhas imposed itself on the Churchn”as her actual, historic condition,” andnthat she is now preparing to enter “intonthe new set of mind, at the price of a newnintellectual and social equilibrium, a newnregime of life and thought.” And GabrielnDaly, who criticizes Chesterton forndefending Christianity on culturalngrounds, believes that Chesterton’snapproach is outdated because “thenadvance in interfaith and interchurch dialogue”nhas rendered his combativenessnembarrassing, and “Christianity in thenWest is not under serious attack.” LikenM. Poulat, he anticipates the new timenwhen apologetics will have beenn”absorbed into a newly structured fundamentalntheology.”nWhy do these statements seem so datednand beside the point, even a little dotty?nOnly a couple of years ago therenwas still a market for antimodernistnarguments, however unsubtle, and therenwas still a case to be made for Poulat’snand Daly’s kind of accommodationism.nThat is no longer so. The collapse of thenSoviet empire has discredited a greatndeal more than Marx and Lenin. Thenwhole progressive, evolutionary, immanentistnenterprise has been shown up fornthe verbal legerdemain it always was,nand Chesterton’s old opponents. Wells,nthe Webbs, Shaw, Dean Inge, BishopnBarnes—the whole squadron of them,nknown and unknown—are rags flappingnin the wind. The war is over. Within hisnterms of reference, Chesterton was right,nand his side has won.nThe odd thing about these books isnthat neither tells the essential tmth aboutnChesterton’s place in that battle. Each,nthough written from a generally Christiannstandpoint, falls into the modemistnhabit of writing as though results hingednupon joining the right party, adopting thenright program. That was not Chesterton’snexperience. As his best poem, ‘The Bal­nnnlad of the White Horse,” makes verynclear, his position was a lonely one, andnfor much of the time nearly hopeless.nFrom the standpoint of the worldly,nhe gained attention by playing the fool,nand his allies were a ragtag platoon ofneccentrics and misfits. Nor was he primarilynfighting for Christian culture, how-‘never much he valued it. The discomfortingnfact is that he took his stand onnsheer Christianity. He believed in JesusnChrist, a proposition as absurd and asnshaming to the average intellectual of hisntime, lay or clerical, as it is today.nAs the modemist squabbles fade fromnmemory and new dangers shape themselvesnin the world, the probative andnexemplary value of Chesterton’s writingnwill lie in the prophetic accuracy of hisndelineation of his times, and in his expressionnof the faith that guided his eye.nOne sees the difficulties of that positionnfor the average agnostic reader, but onenalso sees its justice and its necessity ifntmth is to be told. After all, there is onenman in the postmodernist world we cannbe sure Chesterton would understand,nand that is John Paul II, who has recently,nand unfashionably, dedicated post-nSoviet Russia to the Immaculate Heartnof Mary—not, on the face of it, a modernistnthing to do.nFrank Brownlow is a professor ofnEnglish at Mt. Holyoke College innSouth Hadley, Massachusetts. .nScribble, Scribblenby Gregory McNameenThe Writing Trade:nA Year in the Lifenby ]ohn ]eromenNew York: Viking Press;n255 pp., $21.00nOf the making of books there is nonend, Ecclesiastes has it. Of thenmaking of books about the making ofnbooks there is also a perennial flow. Thenshelves of a well-stocked bookstore arensure to include dozens of titles on freeingnthe trapped writer within, on findingnone’s voice, on creating that winningnproposal for yet another workout book orndiet guide (heaven help us all). Thenmustier stacks of the better libraries, too,nwill have a fair selection of more arcanenMAY 1992/37n