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Article
December 1961

Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing

Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(6):964-965. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620120148028

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Abstract

Here is a book designed to set us free; free from fear, shame, and guilt, the generators of so much malevolence and mayhem, and of the misbegotten man whom we seem to find all around us.

Alexander Neill must be one of the unique schoolmasters of all time. Starting work toward the end of the nineteenth century, at the age of fourteen, he fortunately (for us) failed respectively as a clerk and a draper's assistant. He then became a student teacher under the aegis of his father and later passed a competitive examination to enter a teacher's training college. He studied Latin and Greek and specialized in English, eventually graduating with honors in English literature from Edinburgh University. He experimented with journalism and book publishing before founding (in 1921) the amazing school called Summerhill in the village of Leiston in Suffolk, England. Here children between the ages of five and

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