Skip to comments.Boys Will Be Boys
Posted on 06/24/2007 9:36:28 PM PDT by Coleus
A new guidebook reaffirms boyhood in all of its politically incorrect glory.
Several sections deal simply and entertainingly with the sticky gristle of elementary school basicsthe trick of understanding grammar, the origin of words, Latin phrases every boy should know, and the Ten Commandments. The authors toss an appreciation for poetry and Shakespeare into the mix for good measure. The Igguldens, two British brothers, are unequivocal about right and wrong, and they set old-fashioned male virtues on two stout heels. The preface quotes Sir Frederick Treves, Bart, KCVO, CB, Sergeant in Ordinary to HM the King, in 1903, who counsels: Dont grumble. Plug on. . . . Dont swagger. The boy who swaggerslike the man who swaggershas little else that he can do. . . . Be honest. Be loyal. Be kind. . . . Remember that the hardest thing to acquire is the faculty of being unselfish, which is . . . one of the finest attributes of manliness.
Dont grumble. Plug on. . . . Dont swagger. The boy who swaggerslike the man who swaggershas little else that he can do. . . . Be honest. Be loyal. Be kind. . . . Remember that the hardest thing to acquire is the faculty of being unselfish, which is . . . one of the finest attributes of manliness.
Theres one section that advises boys how to deal with those most vexing of all creatures: Girls. The guidelines to girls, numbered one through eight for easy digestion, cover everything from the importance of listening to them to using proper humor (windbreaking will not endear you to a girl), to whether or not a smitten boy should sign his name to a Valentines Day card, which risks compromising the magic that the anonymous admirer stirs. Perhaps the most refreshing aspect of The Dangerous Book for Boys is that it doesnt fudge the difference between boys and girls. Instead it reassures boys in a gentle voice that we are different, and should embrace that happy distinction. We shouldnt allow those who sow doubt about such distinctions to make us fail in the civil graces and brash expectations that have always been distinctive marks of manliness. Theres a message intended for fathers, too: join in fraternity with your sons.
The pages are chockablock with red-meat entertainment for boys of any age, beginning with the Essential Gear that every young adventurer requires, which includes a Swiss army knife, a compass, handkerchief, box of matches (be careful!), a shooter (British translation for slingshot), needle and thread (to sew up wounds), a flashlight, magnifying glass, band-aids, and fishhooks. Ideally all these essentials would be kept in a rusty old tobacco tin, but any nifty pocket-sized container will do. The boy the Iggulden brothers envision as their reader is that sweetly tousled, chipped-toothed, rosy-cheeked marauder who is the toast of Mark Twains fiction, but whose irrepressible male nature appears to the modern feminist and to publishers alike as a loose chromosome in todays gender-blender world.
Already in the grimy little hands of boys throughout Great Britain and Australia, making it a bestseller there, this book is now muscling its way into the American market in a slightly altered form to appeal to a domestic readership. It comes in an elegant, clothbound, gold-lettered cover that recalls the Victorian age, and abounds with illustrations, drawings, and sepia-toned photographs. The Dangerous Book for Boys has two American precursors: Daniel Carter Beards The American Boys Handy Book, written back in 1882, and, more recently, A Boys Guide to Life: The Complete Instructions, by Priscilla Turner and Susan Pohlman (Planet Dexter Publishers, 1997), a book written by two sisters that reminded us about and exalted the differences between boys and girls, but fell victim to the Ice Age of political correctness.
The Dangerous Book for Boys is sure to lure boys (and their dads) out of their cavernous video game retreats and into the loamy earth and sunlight. Gerry Garibaldi is a writer and teacher, and former Hollywood screenwriter, who contributes to a number of publications, including the Hartford Courant.
I have 5 boys. It’s on the coffee table.
2 boys, 5 yrs and 20 months old...they’re both getting this book, ASAP.
Much if it can be found online here:
Dan Beard was instrumental in Scouting...here's a little background.
DANIEL CARTER BEARD had a fun filled boyhood in Cincinnati, Ohio. His ideal men were the frontiersmen who blazed the trails for settlers - men such as Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Simon Kenton and Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman).
He was a surveyor and mapmaker and later became an author and illustrator for books and magazines.
Beard published his most popular book "The American Boy's Handbook" in 1882. It was full of ideas for swimming, camping, boat building, fishing and making snow forts.
That is from this webpage that contains references to the begining of Scountind as well as a few other boy's books.
All three of my kidz, including my now married-to-an-Eagle-scout daughter grew up with The Dan Beard book as well as my old scout books. My oldest son now runs a BP station and made both Eagle and Order of the Arrow as well as other accolades. My youngest son should make Eagle this year.
All three - and I - often refer back to the above mentioned books.
I grew up on Ernest Thompson Seton’s “Book of Woodcraft”.
I wore out Dan Beard’s “The Buckskin Book: For Buckskin Men and Buckskin Boys.”
I have seen so many articles posted about this book. Why is everyone so gung-ho about it? I don’t understand why anyone would need a book about boys playing. Is there more to it than that? I have 3 boys, to me they are typical boys, adventurous, inquistive, competive (almost of a fault, it can drive me crazy), physical and very outdoorsy. I’ve always had the hangout house, the stories I could tell! I love boys, I thank God everyday for giving me them.
Just get them in a good Cub/Boy Scout program.
Not likely, or why bother publishing it at all? They might have simply translated the British English into American English. There are enough differences to make that effort worthwhile.
Right next to the table-mounted M-60, I hope! Five boys?! Whoa.
I think people like the book because it is celebrating something that our elites have decided is a little shameful: the rough and touble world of manhood.
You really could use polical correctness as a guide you know. Whatever the PC thing is to do, do the opposite and you’re kids will be fine.
This book is perfect for him because it combines lots of information about things that interest him. For example, he went bonkers when he saw the section about the Navaho code talkers, how to build a pressure plate, etc.
I figure this book will end up in the same condition as his copy of Reader's Digest "Back To Basics"..read repeatedly, worn, and tattered.
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