FREELANCE WRITER providing quality service since 1995 - ANGIE MANGINO  journalist / book reviewer

The Scouting Party
By David C. Scott & Brendan Murphy
Red Honor Press
Reviewed by Angie Mangino
Rating: 5 stars
Everyone knows the Boy Scouts of America, and most know someone who was, or who are or have been, personally involved in the Scouting program as it celebrates its centennial in 2010.  Some may know of scouting in England first and might even know the name Robert Baden-Powell associated with it.  Even more may know of scouting begun in America credited to William Boyce.  Yet how many people actually know all the facts and all the people behind its origins? 
The Scouting Party is an excellent historical compilation of the facts, people, and story behind the beginnings of Scouting.  Many divergent personalities played a crucial role in the controversial formation of the Boy Scouts of America. 
This book, however, is far from a drab history text.  While it gives testament to the intensive research of its authors, the presentation is a very human story, which is what this reviewer feels gives it its strength.  The book begins in its introduction in September 1910 at the Waldorf-Astoria on Fifth Avenue in New York where the newly established BSA was fighting to be the sole scouting organization in the United States.  From there each chapter takes the reader back to the individuals involved, developing the story into a more fully rounded understanding of each of the protagonists.
Black and white photographs show images from the early 1900’s of Ernest Thompson Seton, Robert Baden-Powell, Dan Beard, President Theodore Roosevelt, Buffalo Bill, Pawnee Bill, Buffalo Jones, James West, William Boyce, and more, bringing the reader back 100 years to witness the personalities behind both the inspiration and conflicts in the formation of Scouting in the United States.