Scouting for Boys

Scouting for Boys : A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship

4.28 (476 ratings by Goodreads)
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'A trained scout will see little signs and tracks, he puts them together in his mind and quickly reads a meaning from them such as an untrained man would never arrive at.' A startling amalgam of Zulu war-cry and imperial and urban myth, of borrowed tips on health and hygiene, and object lessons in woodcraft, Robert Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys (1908) is the original blueprint and 'self-instructor' of the Boy Scout Movement. An all-time bestseller in the English-speaking world, second only to the Bible, this primer of 'yarns and pictures' constitutes probably the most influential manual for youth ever published. Yet the book is at the same time a roughly composed hodge-podge of jingoist lore and tracker legend, padded with lengthy quotations from adventure fiction and B-P's own autobiography, and seamed through with the multiple anxieties of its time: fears of degeneration, concerns about masculinity and self-restraint, invasion paranoia. Elleke Boehmer's edition of Scouting for Boys is the first to reprint the original text and illustrations, and her fine introduction investigates a book that has been cited as an authority by militarists and pacifists, capitalists and environmentalists more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 440 pages
  • 136 x 194 x 42mm | 580.6g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • line illustrations throughout
  • 0192805479
  • 9780192805478
  • 1,189,778

Review quote

"Scouting for Boys was written in the spirit of Peter Pan and Kipling's Kim; the games and plays and campfire stories are full of good ideas and good fun. The chapters on tracking, woodcraft, camp life and chivalry are full of simple (sometimes lifesaving) bits of practical information and exercises that teach children how to be observant, courteous and innovative."--Los Angeles Times"Reissued for the first time...the original Scouting for Boys includes plenty of quaint language and chuckle-worthy advice. But for all its anachronisms, Baden-Powell's blueprint for what became a worldwide movement remains strangely resonant with our own times."--U.S. News and World Report"Baden Powell had charm and courage, and a knack with the young, and he could draw excellent freehand illustrations. All these qualities are evident in this best-selling manual of 1908, now cleverly reissued by Oxford University Press. It's one of the very few books of the twentieth century that actually led to the formation of a worldwide movement."--Christopher Hitchens, The Atlantic Monthly"A fine and intriguing vision of threatened Anglo-American masculinity at the crisis and crest of empire. It's also a hoot."--Chicago Tribune"A flash-frozen, perfectly preserved moment in time, effectively conveying the sense and character of the Edwardian era, rendered not only readable, but delivering a surprisingly pleasant kick through Baden-Powell's vivid, gee-whiz prose."--San Diego Union Tribune"Edited, annotated and introduced by Elleke Boehmer, professor of colonial and post-colonial literature at Nottingham Trent University in England, this fascinating volume tells us a lot about Baden-Powell, his movement and even to some extent the particular point in time when scouting was born."--Washington Times"The overall impression left by Scouting for Boys is, as it was intended to be, bracing. Through this book, untold millions of boys have been led to healthy and harmless fun, acquiring some solid moral and practical instruction along the way. It is easy to smile now at the book's author, at his enthusiasm for pastimes like pig-sticking and skirt-dancing, his snobbery and imperialism, his determined repression of his own sexuality, whatever it was. It is not so easy to discount his achievement. Baden-Powell was nominated for the 1939 Nobel Peace Prize. The matter fell through because of the war; but looking through the list of subsequent recipients of that award, I doubt there is even one who did as much good in the world as the author of Scouting for Boys."--New York Sun"This new edition is a delight for fathers who once were or now have Boy Scouts, and a remarkable look into the mind of an unusual man and the culture that influenced him.... Baden-Powell's call for both boys (and girls) to be their best and 'do a good turn daily' remains compelling, and the stories, games, and skills he writes about are as stirring to the boyish soul as they were a century ago."--Book Pageshow more

About Robert Baden-Powell

Elleke Boehmer is Professor of Colonial and Post-Colonial Literature at Nottingham Trent University. 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 more

Rating details

476 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 50% (240)
4 30% (143)
3 17% (82)
2 2% (10)
1 0% (1)
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