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Neill of Summerhill: The Permanent Rebel - Jonathan Croall

London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper which is a little faded at the spine. Text complete, clean and tight.

Laid in a postcard from the author. Contains: Further reading list; Black & white photographs; Black & white drawings; List of sources;

From the cover: “A. S. Neill is arguably the most famous child educator of this century. He is certainly the most controversial. All over the world, thousands of parents and teachers have been shocked, delighted or inspired by his outspoken books and lectures, or by a visit to ‘that dreadful school’ — Summerhill.

What led Neill to begin this extraordinary experiment, in which he encouraged children to govern themselves, and to decide when and what they should learn? Why did he find himself in such fundamental disagreement with virtually all the other educational pioneers of the 1920s and 1930s? How much of his iconoclastic philosophy about child freedom stemmed from his harsh and narrow upbringing in Calvinist Scotland, his bitter experience, both as a pupil and young teacher, of the severities of the Scottish school system? And was Summerhill really, as Neill once claimed, ‘the least neurotic place in England, and possibly the most sincere place in the world’?

For this authorised biography, published in the centenary year of his birth, Jonathan Croall has talked to men and women taught by Neill in Scotland before and during the First World War. Neill’s complex personality, and the reality of life at Summerhill, emerge from the recollections of over 200 ex-pupils, teachers, parents and friends. The author has also uncovered many unpublished letters and other documents, in which Neill speaks candidly and humorously about his personal struggles; his analysis and friendship with Homer Lane, Wilhelm Stekel and Wilhelm Reich; and his fifty-year battle to keep Summerhill going. The result is a sympathetic, critical and highly revealing portrait of a remarkable man who, in his determination to be ‘on the side of the child’, remained in permanent opposition to the adult world.”


Size: 9½" x 6¼". Brown boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 436 pages.
£9.50