- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
This item may be
Check for Availability
Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship
"Baden-Powell was not a megalomaniac....Nor was he a sadistic, repressed pederast. He was a racist and an imperialist and a monarchist, all right, but most of the time to a temperate degree....He 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 (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
Synopses & Reviews
A startling amalgam of Zulu war-cry and Sherlock Holmes, of practical tips on health and hygiene and object lessons in woodcraft, Scouting for Boys (1908) is the original blueprint and inspiration for the Boy Scout Movement. An all-time bestseller in the English-speaking world, second in its heyday only to the Bible, it is one of the most influential manuals for youth ever published, known and loved around the world.
Including all of Baden-Powell's original illustrations, this new critical edition of Scouting for Boys serves up a wonderful hodge-podge of true crime stories, stern moralizing, stock adventure tales, natural history, first-aid tips, advice on observation and tracking, and much more. Readers will find a roughly composed pastiche of jingoist lore and tracker legend, padded with lengthy quotations from adventure fiction — from Rudyard Kipling and James Fenimore Cooper, to Alexander Dumas and Arthur Conan Doyle — and seamed through with the multiple anxieties of its time: fears of degeneration ("the fall of the Roman empire was due to bad citizenship") and a constant worry over imminent war. Alongside practical instructions on how to light fires, build a boat, or stalk animals (or men), it includes sections on chivalry, self-discipline, self-improvement, and citizenship. Indeed, the book brims with Baden-Powell's philosophy of life, one that replaces self with service, puts country before the individual, and duty above all. The introduction by Elleke Boehmer illuminates the book's maverick complexity and her notes clarify obscure references.
Though almost a century old, Scouting for Boys continues to fascinate, surprise, and motivate readers today. It will delight anyone interested in popular culture, Victorian history, and literature for children.
"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
"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
A startling amalgam of Zulu war-cry and imperial and urban myth, of borrowed tips on health and hygiene, and object lessons in woodcraft, this text is the original blueprint and 'self-instructor' of the Boy Scout Movement.
An all-time bestseller in the English-speaking world, this is the original 1908 blueprint and inspiration for the Boy Scout Movement and one of the most influential manuals for youth ever published.
About the Author
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 Bloodlines.
What Our Readers Are Saying