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Scouting For Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship Paperback – 27 Dec 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, U.S.A.; 1st Edition edition (27 Dec. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192802461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192802460
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 3.6 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'very good fun' (Max Hastings, Sunday Telegraph)

'Elleke Boehmer's erudite introduction makes you wish she would get around to writing a full-length biogaphy of the first Chief Scout' (William Cook, New Statesman)

'a gem of a contemporary source' (Living History)

'the value of Elleke Boehmer's well-annotated text of the original edition is to show us the anxieties, contradictions and excitements of the Boy Scout movement at its inception' (Alan Hollinghurst, Guardian)

'a gripping read' (The Oldie)

About the Author

Elleke Boehmer is Hildred Carlile Professor in English at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is the author of many books and articles on postcolonial writing and theory. She has also written short stories and three novels, most recently Bloodlines.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
At the very beginning of the twentieth century, retired General Robert Baden-Powell, the hero of the siege of Mafeking, coalesced his ideas for an organization to train young British boys in scouting for the British Empire. Not a very organized thinker, Baden-Powell borrowed heavily from all sorts of unrelated resources - newspaper articles, military dispatches, fiction, and much more - and produced this, his first book on scouting. Originally published as six separate books, this book brings all of them together, complete with original illustrations.
Now, as might be expected from its roots, this book reflects a lot of the biases and ways of thinking from Edwardian England. But, leaving that aside, this is a fun and interesting book that shows clearly the forms that have stayed with the Boy Scouts movement to this very day. The introduction was written by Elleke Boehmer, a professor of Colonial and Postcolonial literature, and is a fairly predictable deconstruction/analysis of B-P and his movement.
Now, as a newcomer to Scouting (my son is a Tenderfoot) did I find anything useful in this book? I sure did. Robert Baden-Powell was very knowledgeable about the subject, and this book sure shows it. (I never thought of tying my shoes like that!) Of course some of the information is out of date, especially the first-aid information, so it isn't really usable by the boys "as is." But, this is a nice resource, one that shows you where Scouting started.
Oh, and I must say that I actually enjoyed the somewhat jumbled organization of this book. It isn't as scholarly and antiseptic as modern Boy Scout books, and the stories and tales laced throughout make the reading much more fun. Plus, I did find the focus on some subjects, such as logic and deductive reasoning, to be quite interesting. I loved this book, and highly recommend it to you!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for a bit of a laugh initially, that and the Ian Hislop program on TV.

Its parochial, jingoistic, self centred and too focussed on 'self abuse' ..

but...

It has some pretty good stuff! Its ridiculously egalitarian considering when it was written, and respectful of all independent of wealth, race, creed, etc. All in all, kids should read this.

I finished this book with an odd feeling of pride in being British. The values promoted in this book are my values, despite never having been a scout myself.

God save the Queen!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many of the underlying attitudes present in some books from the first half of the 20th century make me shudder, but this book is not one of them.
I spent most of the Fifties, as a Cub to a Senior Scout, enjoying freedoms and adventures that youngsters today cannot even dream of. I have always regretted that I was unable to put back a little of what I was given.
If the world is going to hell in a handbasket, perhaps these values will have meaning again.
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Format: Hardcover
What a lovely well written and profound piece of literature. A time less piece of work that reinforces the very best attitudes and acceptable social standards of its day and certainly one by which a lot of the youth of today could learn by. I am pleased that both of my sons have found this book a hearty and enjoyable read with the ability to pick it up and put it down at will dipping into its wisdom and practicality when ever they need to. Well done BP.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an interesting book in many ways. It is still very relevant in parts, and very dated in others. It is not surprising as so much has changed in over 100 years. Many of the principles and ideas are still very good. Some of the suggested games and things too do would be very hard to keep kids interests up these days, for example there is a huge amount about tracking for example. On the whole an interesting read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really interesting read.

As a scout in the late 50's it brings it all back and reminds me of what a bunch of softies todays youth (and ourselves) have become.
There are some great politically incorrect comments in it but also really correct observations regarding smoking (although they did not know why) , the need for fitness and he avoidance of obesity and lazyness.

Ideal book to pick up and put down after short periods. I keep mine in the toilet!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the speed of our 'modern' world much is missed that is, as one reviewer said - timeless. As a former Cub, Scout, Venture Scout and Leader, many years ago, it is great to read the book and sadly realise what so many young people are missing today. Albeit the contrast is that Scouting has never been more popular. The book is perhaps, historic but so much is so current too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is the bible for all boy scouts of all ages I lent my old copy to a new scout leader and never got it back 20 years ago and as I live by following the scout law and promise I have been looking for this book since I lost it If all people followed the teachings in this book the world would be a better place
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