"This absent-minded, overgrown elf of a man, who laughed at his own jokes and amused children at birthday parties by catching buns in his mouth, this was the man who wrote a book called The Everlasting Man, which led a young atheist named C. S. Lewis to become a Christian. This was the man who wrote a novel called The Napoleon of Notting Hill, which inspired Michael Collins to lead a movement for Irish Independence. This was the man who wrote an essay in the Illustrated London News that inspired Mohandas Gandhi to lead a movement to end British colonial rule in India. This was a man who, when commissioned to write a book on St. Thomas Aquinas, had his secretary check out a stack of books on St. Thomas from the library, opened the top book on the stack, thumbed through it, closed it, and proceeded to dictate a book on St. Thomas. Not just any book. The renowned Thomistic scholar, Ettienne Gilson, had this to say about it:
"'I consider it as being without possible comparison the best book ever written on St. Thomas. Nothing short of genius can account for such an achievement...'"