The Headmaster Frank L. Boyden of Deerfield

John McPhee

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

0374514968

9780374514969

Trade Paperback

148 Pages

$15.00

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Starting in 1902 at a country school that had an enrollment of fourteen, Frank Boyden built an academy that has long since taken its place on a level with Andover and Exeter. Boyden, who died in 1972, was the school’s headmaster for sixty-six years. John McPhee portrays a remarkable man “at the near end of a skein of magnanimous despots who . . . created enduring schools through their own individual energies, maintained them under their own absolute rule, and left them forever imprinted with their own personalities.” More than simply a portrait of the Headmaster of Deerfield Academy, it is a revealing look at the nature of private school education in America.

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Praise for The Headmaster

"One always has the sense with McPhee of a man at a pitch of pleasure in his work, a natural at it, finding out on behalf of the rest of us how some portion of the world works.”—Edward Hoagland, The New York Times

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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Headmaster, The
WHEN FRANK LEAROYD BOYDEN, who was soon to become the new headmaster of Deerfield Academy, arrived at the Deerfield station, he was only twenty-two. He walked downhill into the town for the first time, and he nodded, as he moved along, to women in full-length skirts, girls in petticoats, and little boys wearing longsleeved shirts and bowler hats. Deerfield, Massachusetts, was essentially one street--a mile from the north to the south end--under shade so deep that even in the middle of the day the braided tracery of wagon ruts became lost in shadow a hundred yards from an obs
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • John McPhee

  • John McPhee is the author of more than 25 books, including Annals of the Former World, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction in 1999. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1965 and lives in Princeton, New Jersey. McPhee's Encounters with the Archdruid and The Curve of Binding Energy were both nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science.
  • John McPhee Peter Cook
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