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By Jim Schutze

In the inner sanctum of an elite 1960’s boarding school, boys test their boundaries and class when they welcome an outsider.

Publication date: September 10th, 2024

Paperback: 9781646053483
eBook: 9781646053605


One New England boys’ boarding school, a bastion of the WASP aristocracy, has been holding out stubbornly against pressure to diversify. Grudgingly, St. Philip’s School in New Hampshire opens its doors to its first scholarship student: young Woodrow Skaggs from Pontiac, Michigan, the tough, rough-edged son of an autoworker.

Things do not go smoothly—the world portrayed in Pontiac may be shockingly inappropriate to the readers of today. The attitudes of the St. Philip’s students toward gender and sex cruelly predict the treatment girls will receive twenty years later when many of these schools become coeducational. And yet in their awkward, often violent attempts to figure each other out, the boys of St. Philip’s also provide a window to better, more tolerant times ahead.

Told through memories, vignettes, letters, and compelling conversation, Pontiac sees journalist and author Jim Schutze bring a keen and empathetic eye to the evolutions of culture in the twentieth century.

Biographical Note
Jim Schutze was born in 1946, spent his childhood in Ann Arbor, Michigan and attended high school at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, after which he was an automobile assembly-line worker in Detroit for six years. He is retired from a decades-long career as a newspaper columnist writing about local politics in Dallas, Texas. Schutze’s book on race relations in Dallas, The Accommodation, was pulled from the presses by a local publisher and suppressed in 1986. Re-published 35 years later in the wake of the George Floyd murder, it was selected for a citywide reading program in Dallas.