21 May 2020, The Tablet

Valour revisited


 

A Schoolmaster’s War: Harry Rée – A British Agent in the French Resistance
Edited by JONATHAN RéE
(YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 192 PP, £14.99)
Tablet bookshop price £13.49 • Tel 020 7799 4064

“You won’t like going back to being a schoolmaster after this,” a contact in the French Resistance said to Harry Rée in 1944. “On the contrary,” Rée replied. “Getting back to something constructive instead of blowing things up all the time – it will be a joy.” And so it proved to be. Rée was to become as explosive a figure in British educational circles as he was when wrecking factories and train lines in southern France. An early advocate of ­comprehensive schools and a ground­breaking professor of education at York University, his idealism, charm and zestful energy won round legions of administrators, teachers and students.

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