Harvard University Professor Calls “Handbook for Boys” a Manual for Life

Edward O. Wilson, the Pellegrino University Professor Emeritus in Entomology for the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, reviews the Boy Scouts of America’s Handbook for Boys.

2654-01-03.rg5In the November 9, 2014, New York Times Sunday Book Review, Wilson, an Eagle Scout, credits the Handbook for Boys for giving young men, including himself, a pathway to career choices. The merit badge advancement process, as it did in 1942, still introduces Scouts to different fields of study, including game design and sustainability, two of the newest merit badge topics.

I’m well aware that to many, the Boy Scouts seem unsophisticated and outdated. But I ask doubters at least to consider this: If asked to decide who would be both successful in life and exceptionally useful to society, the graduating senior of an elite New England prep school or an Eagle Scout in Kansas, I’d vote for the Eagle Scout.

Read Wilson’s review, “A Manual for Life,” in the New York Times Sunday Book Review.


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