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Stiff Upper Lip: Secrets, Crimes and the Schooling of a Ruling Class

Alex Renton

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United Kingdom, Great Britain, Prose: non-fiction, Moral & social purpose of education, Independent schools, private education, Politics & government

A revealing account of the abuse - and cultural fallout - that occurs in Britain's elite boarding schools

'A brave and necessary book' GUARDIAN
'Shocking, gripping and sobering' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

This is the story of generations of parents, Britain's richest and grandest, who believed that being miserable at school was necessary to make a good and successful citizen. Childish suffering was a price they accepted for the preservation of their class, and their entitlement. The children who were moulded by this misery and abuse went on - as they still do - to run Britain's public institutions and private companies.

Confronting the truth of his own schooldays and the crimes he witnessed, Alex Renton has revealed a much bigger story. It is of a profound malaise in the British elite, shown up by tolerance of the abuse of its own children that amounts to collusion. This culture and its traditions, and the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that underpin them, are key to any explanation of the scandals over sexual abuse, violence and cover-up in child care institutions that are now shocking the nation.

As Renton shows, complicity in this is the bleak secret at the heart of today's British elite.

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Alex Renton

Alex Renton is an award-winning journalist whose career has ranged from theatre criticism to food writing to the investigation of child abuse, and as war reporter in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He was educated at Ashdown House and Eton, and lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two children.