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The Headmaster by John McPhee
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The Headmaster

Frank L. Boyden of Deerfield

$11.54

Narrator Edoardo Ballerini

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Length 2 hours 19 minutes
Language English
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"It was a delight to re-read and record The Headmaster. My Deerfield days came back to me in a great rush. ... So much of Mr. Boyden's teaching focused on what boys needed to grow up to be adults in society, with a particular emphasis on giving back to the community.” —Edoardo Ballerini

Starting in 1902 at a country school that had an enrollment of fourteen, Frank Boyden built an academy that has long since taken its place on a level with Andover and Exeter. Boyden, who died in 1972, was the school's headmaster for sixty-six years. John McPhee portrays a remarkable man "at the near end of a skein of magnanimous despots who...created enduring schools through their own individual energies, maintained them under their own absolute rule, and left them forever imprinted with their own personalities." More than simply a portrait of the Headmaster of Deerfield Academy, it is a revealing look at the nature of private school education in America.

A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

John McPhee was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and was educated at Princeton University and Cambridge University. His writing career began at Time magazine and led to his long association with The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1965. Also in 1965, he published his first book, A Sense of Where You Are, with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and in the years since, he has written over 30 books, including Oranges (1967), Coming into the Country (1977), The Control of Nature (1989), The Founding Fish (2002), Uncommon Carriers (2007), and Silk Parachute (2011). Encounters with the Archdruid (1972) and The Curve of Binding Energy (1974) were nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science. McPhee received the Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977. In 1999, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Annals of the Former World. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Edoardo Ballerini is an American writer, director, film producer and actor.  He has won many awards for his audiobook narration; within only a few years after beginning his narrating career, he won several AudioFile Earphones Awards for his work, including Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve: How The World Became Modern, Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller and Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins.   He narrated Kenzaburo Oe’s Nobel Prize Winning Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids, Joseph Finder’s The Moscow Club as well as works by John Edward and Daniel Stashower.   In television and film, he is best known for his role in The Sopranos, 24, I Shot Andy Warhol, Dinner Rush and Romeo Must Die. The silky-voiced Ballerini is trained in theater and continues to do much work on stage.

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Reviews

“One always has the sense with McPhee of a man at a pitch of pleasure in his work, a natural at it, finding out on behalf of the rest of us how some portion of the world works.” —Edward Hoagland, The New York Times Expand reviews
Celebrate our 10th Anniversary with giveaways, merch, and more! Learn more