A valuable, readable contribution to the history of Scouting.

World Scouting: Educating for Global Citizenship

A historical analysis of Scouting as the world’s largest youth educational movement, with special attention paid to its global role in citizenship education.

In this well-researched work, Vallory examines the history of Scouting from its beginnings in 1907, when Robert Baden-Powell wrote Scouting for Boys, and how it evolved, quickly including Girl Scouts (or Guides) and spreading to 172 countries or territories by 2011. Very little literature exists on the subject, as Joseph P. Farrell, of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, explains in a useful introduction. This book addresses that gap. Vallory first provides a history of world Scouting and goes on to describe Scouting’s core characteristics, including its definition, purpose, methods, organization and means of differentiation. Finally, Vallory discusses “glocal” citizenship education and the tensions among local, national and global commitments. Extensive notes and a bibliography serve as additional resources. U.S. readers will be especially interested in how the American system differs from that of other countries, with the ideology of sponsoring organizations, such as the YMCA and the Mormon church, conditioning the Scout association. “The controversial manner in which [Boy Scouts of America] executives have dealt with issues concerning homosexuality and atheism is not dissociated from its very unique model of operation,” writes Vallory. (The BSA’s decision to allow gay members, though not leaders, is too recent to be included here.) Via the work’s focus on history, readers can better understand Scouting’s relationship with progressive education. The author makes an excellent case for the importance of Scouting as an education in global citizenship, pointing out, for example, that “individual young scouts in Arab countries were very active [in 2011] around the so-called Arab Spring in Tunisia or Egypt, claiming their role as real citizens, despite the institutional relations their scout associations enjoy with the status quo.” Those who think of Scouting as little more than songs around a campfire will have much to learn from this intelligent, thorough discussion.

A valuable, readable contribution to the history of Scouting.

Pub Date: April 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0230340688

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Review Posted Online: July 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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A scattershot exercise in preaching to the choir.

THE WAR ON THE WEST

A British journalist fulminates against Black Lives Matter, critical race theory, and other threats to White privilege.

“There is an assault going on against everything to do with the Western world—its past, present, and future.” So writes Spectator associate editor Murray, whose previous books have sounded warnings against the presumed dangers of Islam and of non-Western immigration to the West. As the author argues, Westerners are supposed to take in refugees from Africa, Asia, and Latin America while being “expected to abolish themselves.” Murray soon arrives at a crux: “Historically the citizens of Europe and their offspring societies in the Americas and Australasia have been white,” he writes, while the present is bringing all sorts of people who aren’t White into the social contract. The author also takes on the well-worn subject of campus “wokeness,” a topic of considerable discussion by professors who question whether things have gone a bit too far; indeed, the campus is the locus for much of the anti-Western sentiment that Murray condemns. The author’s arguments against reparations for past damages inflicted by institutionalized slavery are particularly glib. “It comes down to people who look like the people to whom a wrong was done in history receiving money from people who look like the people who may have done the wrong,” he writes. “It is hard to imagine anything more likely to rip apart a society than attempting a wealth transfer based on this principle.” Murray does attempt to negotiate some divides reasonably, arguing against “exclusionary lines” and for Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s call for a more vigorous and welcoming civil culture. Too often, however, the author falters, as when he derides Gen. Mark Milley for saying, “I want to understand white rage. And I’m white”—perhaps forgetting the climacteric White rage that Milley monitored on January 6, 2021.

A scattershot exercise in preaching to the choir.

Pub Date: April 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-316202-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Broadside Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2022

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Gates offers a persuasive, 30,000-foot view of a global problem that, he insists, can be prevented given will and money.

HOW TO PREVENT THE NEXT PANDEMIC

The tech mogul recounts the health care–related dimensions of his foundation in what amounts to a long policy paper.

“Outbreaks are inevitable, but pandemics are optional.” Thus states the epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, a Gates adviser, who hits on a critically important point: Disease is a fact of nature, but a pandemic is a political creation of a kind. Therefore, there are political as well as medical solutions that can enlist governments as well as scientists to contain outbreaks and make sure they don’t explode into global disasters. One critical element, Gates writes, is to alleviate the gap between high- and low-income countries, the latter of which suffer disproportionately from outbreaks. Another is to convince governments to ramp up production of vaccines that are “universal”—i.e., applicable to an existing range of disease agents, especially respiratory pathogens such as coronaviruses and flus—to prepare the world’s populations for the inevitable. “Doing the right thing early pays huge dividends later,” writes Gates. Even though doing the right thing is often expensive, the author urges that it’s a wise investment and one that has never been attempted—e.g., developing a “global corps” of scientists and aid workers “whose job is to wake up every day thinking about diseases that could kill huge numbers of people.” To those who object that such things are easier said than done, Gates counters that the development of the current range of Covid vaccines was improbably fast, taking a third of the time that would normally have been required. At the same time, the author examines some of the social changes that came about through the pandemic, including the “new normal” of distance working and learning—both of which, he urges, stand to be improved but need not be abandoned.

Gates offers a persuasive, 30,000-foot view of a global problem that, he insists, can be prevented given will and money.

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-53448-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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