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Impaled Upon a Thistle

Scotland since 1880

Ewen A. Cameron

Paperback (In stock)
£24.99
Hardback (Print on demand)
£100.00

Ewen Cameron explores the political debate between unionism, liberalism, socialism and nationalism, and the changing political relationship between Scotland and the United Kingdom. He sets Scottish experience alongside the Irish, Welsh and European, and considers British dimensions of historical change - involvement in two world wars, imperial growth and decline, for example - from a Scottish perspective. He relates political events to trends and movements in the economy, culture and society of the nation’s regions - borders, lowlands, highlands, and islands. Underlying the history, and sometimes impelling its ambitions, are the evolution and growth of national self-confidence and identity which fundamentally affected Scotland’s destiny in the last century. Dr Cameron ends by considering how such forces may transform it in this one. Like the period it describes this book has politics at its heart. The recent upsurge of scholarship and publication, backed by the author’s extensive primary research, underpin its vivid and well-paced narrative.

Contents

Part One
Chapter 1, Progress and Poverty: Scottish Society, 1880 to 1914
Chapter 2, Enterprise and Initiative: The Scottish Economy, 1880 to 1939
Chapter 3, 'An Exuberant Verbosity': Scottish Politics in the 1880s
Chapter 4, 'Volcanic Upheavals': Scottish Politics Before the Great War
Chapter 5, 'Ower the Hill': Scotland and the Great War
Chapter 6, Poverty without progress? Scottish Society in the Inter-war Period
Chapter 7, 'Miracles and Politics Don't Mix': Political Change in the Inter-war Period
Chapter 8, Total War, 1939 to 1945
Part Two
Chapter 9, The Social Revolution: Scottish Society since 1945
Chapter 10, The End of Industrial Scotland: The Economy since 1945
Chapter 11, Unionist Scotland: Politics, 1945 to 1970
Chapter 12, The 1970s: A Decade of Scottish Politics
Chapter 13, Mothering Devolution: Scottish Politics, 1979 to 1997
Chapter 14, New Labour, New Scotland, New Parliament

About the Author

Ewen A. Cameron is Sir William Fraser Professor of Scottish History and Palaeography at the University of Edinburgh. His many publications cover the political history of modern Scotland and the history of the Scottish Highlands.

Reviews

This is a dense political study, but the best of its kind, with enough social history to explicate the changes underway. The research is superb, and the full, up-to-date bibliography alone makes this book worth the price. Essential.
- J. J. Butt, James Madison University, Choice
Cameron is a skilled story-teller, able to weave simultaneous strands of history together… An absorbing and insightful history of modern Scottish politics.
- Patricia Bowley, University of Guelph, International Review of Scottish Studies
Cameron’s book will be an essential reading for anyone wishing to seriouslyengage with late modern Scottish history. It will feature on all reading lists and I can already see the pencil defacement of the book by undergraduates, which is in itself a tribute to the author, though a nuisance to other readers.
- Bill Knox, University of St Andrews, Contemporary British History
He [Cameron] is a marvellous and masterly guide. This book is one of the most factually rich accounts of Scotland's most recent history one could hope for, and is a valuable addition to existing work in this area... Dr. Cameron's mastery of the literature is impressive and the book's bibliography is itself a most useful source for scholars of this period.... The rich factual content of this work will, however, ensure its longevity on our bookshelves. Good scholarship never goes out of fashion.
- Catriona MacDonald, Scottish Review of Books
Cameron’s book will be an essential reading for anyone wishing to seriously
engage with late modern Scottish history. It will feature on all reading lists and I can already see the pencil defacement of the book by undergraduates, which is in itself a tribute to the author, though a nuisance to other readers.
- Bill Knox, University of St Andrews
He [Cameron] is a marvellous and masterly guide. This book is one of the most factually rich accounts of Scotland's most recent history one could hope for, and is a valuable addition to existing work in this area... Dr. Cameron's mastery of the literature is impressive and the book's bibliography is itself a most useful source for scholars of this period.... The rich factual content of this work will, however, ensure its longevity on our bookshelves. Good scholarship never goes out of fashion.
- Catriona MacDonald
This is a dense political study, but the best of its kind, with enough social history to explicate the changes underway. The research is superb, and the full, up-to-date bibliography alone makes this book worth the price. Essential.
- J. J. Butt, James Madison University
"These are only minor criticisms of a book which is well written and packed with historical detail and shrewd analysis. The author has avoided the prickly trap which forms his title and has produced a book that steers skillfully between the twin dangers of overemphasizing Scottish distinctiveness and squeezing Scotland's past into an artificial 'British' framework. It will surely become a standard work for those seeking to understand, research or teach Scotland's 20th century.
- Gordon Pentland, University of Edinburgh, History Scotland - Nov/Dec 2010
This is a strong addition to the New Edinburgh History of Scotland series...one that will serve as the standard survey on the twentieth-century Scotland for decades to come.
- Mark Klobas, Scottsdale Community College, Canadian Journal of History

This is a highly readable book that is full of valuable insights and is a significant landmark in the development of Scottish historiography as it enters the twenty-first century.

- Richard J. Findlay, University of Strathclyde, English Historical Review, vol CXXVII, no 525

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