Review: The Headmaster by John McPhee

This morning I read The Headmaster, an extended profile of former Deerfield Academy Headmaster Frank Boyden. Boyden’s 66-year occupation of the headmaster’s chair at Deerfield was impressive to say the least. McPhee, who is himself a Deerfield alum, writes with an engaging jocularity that I associate with mid-century preparatory/ivy literary style. Written in 1966, The Headmaster provides some very poignant insights into the insular world of Deerfield Academy and the larger academic solar system of which it is a part. It also speaks volumes about the position of women as late as the 1960s.

An hour is sufficient to read The Headmaster. It is an hour well-spent.

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