Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2004 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 382 pages
12 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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
5
4 stars
4
3 stars
2
2 stars
1
1 star
0

Review: Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship

User Review  - Graham Lee - Goodreads

I came to this for the timeless advice on scouting, but mainly found information on the perils of masturbation and mouth-breathing. Still, it's an interesting read, and BP is slightly less of a jingoistic native-shooting lion-eater than I had expected. Read full review

Review: Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship

User Review  - Alison Oakley - Goodreads

Times were simpler, but the advice rings true! This book and its author have inspired millions of "play the game" read it and give it a try! Read full review

About the author (2004)

Elleke Boehmer is the author of Empire, the National and the Postcolonial (2002), Colonial and Postcolonial Literature (1995), and Stories of Women (forthcoming), as well as of many articles on postcolonial writing and theory. She is also the author of short stories and three novels, most recently Bloodlines. For OWC she has edited Empire Writing. She is the Series Editor of the Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures.

Bibliographic information