Archive for May, 2007

Boy Scouts can easily kick Harry Potter’s ass…

…or more accurately, J.K. Rowling’s… 

The top three bestselling books of the 20th century are not that difficult to guess: the Bible, the Koran and Mao’s Little Red Book. Number four is perhaps a surprise. Scouting for Boys was written a century ago by Robert Baden-Powell, now a somewhat unfashionable figure who was once widely regarded as the most famous man in Britain.

(Source: The Observer)

Cover of second part of Scouting for Boys, January 1908

But the truth is different, according to Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye and team captain on BBC2’s Have I Got News for You?

In fact, Hislop told The Observer last week, his study of Baden-Powell’s life to mark the centenary of the movement forced him to abandon his ‘snotty’ preconceptions and wonder what he and his teenage children had missed.

In making Ian Hislop’s Scouting for Boys, a documentary to be shown on BBC4 on Monday 14 May at 9pm, the journalist admits his assumptions were turned upside down.

‘In the Seventies and Eighties, Scouting had been deeply unfashionable and uncool and a slightly naff thing to join, and I’d just taken that on board,’ he said. ‘I went back and had a look at it and thought this is the most bizarre book, quite bonkers but also quite brilliant.’

Continue reading ‘Boy Scouts can easily kick Harry Potter’s ass…’


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