Twelve Tests of Character
by Harry Emerson Fosdick


These essays on practical religion and right living were written because the editor of the Ladies’ Home Journal offered his large circle of readers as an audience. Their serial nature also is occasionally indicated as in the eleventh article, which appeared in November and which commemorates Thanksgiving Day. Except as I have retained in the book the original form of articles which editorial necessity compressed when they were published in the Journal, I have left the essays practically as they first were printed.

The papers are an endeavor to stress some fundamental tests of character which our new generation is tempted to forget. With many overhead schemes for the world’s salvation, everything rests back on integrity and driving power in personal character. "You cannot carve rotten wood," says a Chinese proverb. Nor can you carve decrepit and decayed character into any economic system or scheme of government that will work happiness for men. It is an old emphasis, but it is indispensable, and just now we may well get back to it.

Harry Emerson Fosdick.

New York, October 1, 1923.