The Pequod Review:
Following the critical success of his comparatively sober The Great War and Modern Memory (1975), Paul Fussell wrote a number of acerbic (and sometimes cranky) essays on a variety of topics. The Boy Scout Handbook is a collection of 34 essays on, among other things, Graeme Greene, Latin America, World War II, and the Boy Scout Handbook itself (“this handbook is among the very few remaining repositories of something like classical ethics, deriving from Aristotle and Cicero”). Fussell’s prose is playful and witty, and he has a keen BS Detector, coupled with an admirable hatred of jargon and doublespeak. When he hits the target (which is about 50% of the time), the result is social criticism of the highest order.