A Place for Boys: Brunswick School and the Building of Young Men

ISBN 10: 097116150X / ISBN 13: 9780971161504
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Synopsis: When it began in 1902, Brunswick School connected to an important cultural debate relating to what many people of that era saw as a real crisis of masculinity in America. In a new urban-industrial time of soft living for the privileged classes, a large question was: how could boys be kept strong and upright, the distinctive qualities of males--their "manliness"--be prevented from degenerating? For educators then, boys' schooling was just as vital an issue as girls' education would become in the last decades of the 20th century--if not more so.

Over the course of its history, Brunswick has experienced many of the same changes that have affected other independent day schools for boys, except for something crucial that made it different from most: it continued to be one. A boys' school that has lasted throughout the 20th century ought to tell us much about the shaping and reshaping of American manhood over that time. Drawing on a vast collection of school archives and other historical sources, John R. Van Atta uses Brunswick as a window to the various elements of American culture that not only could produce such a school in the first place, but also keep going--and thriving--to the present day.

About the Author: John R. Van Atta has taught AP and regular United States history and Constitutional law at Brunswick School since 1984. From 1982 to 1984, he taught at Hiram College, in Hiram, Ohio. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia. His articles on various subjects in United States History have appeared in the Indiana Social Studies Quarterly, the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, American National Biography, and the Journal of the Early Republic (forthcoming). This is his first book.

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