Books: Background for a Boy Scout

MAFEKING by Brian Gardner. 246 pages. Harcourt, Brace & World. $5.75.

Even at this distance in time, to say anything less than laudatory about the founder of the Boy Scout movement may seem like sneering at motherhood, or burning draft cards. But now that historians are forwarding overdue accounts to the once-Empire, it probably had to happen. Brian Gardner, a young Englishman who has given up journalism for history, deserves a merit badge for his neat hatchet job on Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell.

The world's first Boy Scout, who won his original fame for his...

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