Assessing the impact of an elite education

The Economist:

Sad Little Men: Private Schools and the Ruin of England. By Richard Beard. Harvill Secker; 288 pages; £16.99

AS ITS SUBTITLE promises, this book is an uncompromising denunciation of Britain’s private schools. They offer their charges a Faustian bargain, says Richard Beard: the tools of success (principally fluency and self-confidence) in return for emotional impoverishment. He knows whereof he speaks: in 1975 he was sent from home to a new life sleeping in dormitories and climbing hierarchies, much like David Cameron and Boris Johnson.