THE MAKING OF THEM: TV Documentary Review (belated)

September 28, 2014 6:39 PM

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I revisited my childhood yesterday. I have been reading Wounded Leaders: British Elitism and the Entitlement Illusion, a recent book by Nick Duffel, (I'll have more to say about the book in a later post) and came across a reference to a video made in 1994 for the BBC, The Making of Them. I had an exchange of correspondence with Nick Duffell some fifteen years ago, at the time of the publication of my own memoir, While I Am Not Afraid: Secrets of a Man's Heart. I'm no longer sure how it came about, but I heard about the organization he had founded, Boarding School Survivors, and the title immediately struck a chord. I am, myself, a "survivor" of the British boarding school system, and was pleased to learn that someone was seriously addressing the issues I had been struggling with for my entire adult life.

"The Making of Them" is about the earliest stage of the private boarding school system, the "prep" school. Boys--and girls, but I was obviously at an all-boys school; my sister has a similar story--are sent there by their parents at the age of seven or eight, and spend their early education there un...

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