An engaging and authoritative history of Scotland’s influence in the world and the world’s on Scotland, from the Thirty Years’ War to the present day
Scotland is one of the oldest nations in the world, yet by some it is hardly counted as a nation at all. Neither a colony of England nor a fully equal partner in the British union, Scotland has often been seen as simply a component part of British history. But the story of Scotland is one of innovation, exploration, resistance—and global consequence.
In this wide-ranging, deeply researched account, Murray Pittock examines the place of Scotland in the world. He explores Scotland and Empire, the rise of nationalism, and the pressures on the country from an increasingly monolithic understanding of “Britishness.” From the Thirty Years’ War to Jacobite risings and today’s ongoing independence debates, Scotland and its diaspora have undergone profound changes. This groundbreaking account reveals the diversity of Scotland’s history and shows how, after the country disappeared from the map as an independent state, it continued to build a global brand.
About the Author
Murray Pittock MAE FRSE is Scotland’s leading cultural historian. His books include Culloden, Enlightenment in a Smart City, The Myth of the Jacobite Clans, and Robert Burns in Global Culture.
“Impressive. . . . The strength of this book lies in the way events such as the Act of Union and the Clearances are revealed to have had global consequences.”—Gerard DeGroot, Times (UK)
“Engaging, lively and full of insight, a vivid account of Scottish endeavours in politics, science, literature, art and economics. . . . Pittock records the ebb and flow of Scotland’s international experience with panache and pace.”—Anna Keay, The Guardian
“A much needed overview of a fascinating and underwritten subject. Spectacularly panoramic and sweeping while always remaining rigorously scholarly, it ranges effortlessly and with confident authority over 400 years of history, from Quebec to Calcutta, from Ossian to Trainspotting.”—William Dalrymple, Spectator, “Books of the Year”
“Excellent . . . a significant, majestically sweeping history of Scotland from 1603 to the present.”—S. M. McDonald, Choice
“A monumental achievement. . . . This is a tremendous book, a really significant contribution to Scottish history. It will delight, surprise and irritate in equal measure.”—Christopher Whatley, author of The Scots and the Union
“A hugely important book which will astonish and delight everyone engaged in the matter of Scotland. What impresses is the range and scope of Pittock’s global vision for Scotland, but what engages is the minute human detail of the people in the diaspora that he reveals to us, positive and negative. A magisterial work which Scots will actively return to again and again, as we redefine our role in Europe and the world in the 21st century.”—Billy Kay, author of The Scottish World
“As a consequence of both its long history as an independent kingdom, its position in the union state that is the UK, and the massive emigration that has characterised its modern history, Scotland has, for a small country, unusually broad and deep global connections. In this wide-ranging and engaging book, Pittock explores the survival of Scotland and the projection of its identity across the globe.”—Ewen Cameron, author of Impaled Upon the Thistle