Thursday, May 06, 2004

More on Jingoism

I thought I'd follow up on yesterday's word of the day. Given the current political landscape, you might think that this was a recent reference. Believe it or not, I found the word in an article about the scouting handbook, written early in the 20th century. Here is an excerpt - I'd link you to the actual article but it's from one of those subscription only services and well, I doubt you have a subscription:
Section: Research & Publishing
Volume 50, Issue 34, Page A14
From the issue dated April 30, 2004

Original Scouting Handbook Told Boys to Be Prepared to Protect the British Empire, Scholar Says

In his best-selling guide for the Boy Scouts, Robert Baden-Powell, a former military scout who founded the organization, provided guidance on tying knots, tracking animals and humans, and recognizing criminals. But the book was also a guide on how to preserve the British Empire, explains Elleke Boehmer, a professor of colonial and postcolonial literature at Nottingham Trent University, in her introduction to a new edition of Baden-Powell's text, Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship (The Original 1908 Edition) (Oxford University Press).

Q. Baden-Powell's book is not so innocent, in your reading?

A. It's by no means an innocent text politically. It's full of unreconstructed jingoism and save-the-Empire derring-do. The 1908 text is the Scout manual in raw form, and there are -- to us, now -- unpleasant racist passages. Baden-Powell also plagiarized quite unscrupulously from all sorts of sources. He made no claims to being an originator. He was a good popularizer.

Just in case you think our generation created jingoism...

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