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No Gods and Precious Few Heroes

Twentieth-Century Scotland

Christopher Harvie

Edition: 3

eBook (ePub) i

The fourth edition of this classic text on the history of Scotland since World War I

Epitomised by political, social and technological change this history appraises a fast-evolving century, from the outbreak of World War I up to the present and the politics of devolution and the age of the internet. The book begins with the devastating impact of World War I and Scotland’s critical role in its conduct, then continues to explore Scots institutional life, from 1922 to 1964, governed by the problems of economy, society, politics and culture embedded in a mature industrialised state with economic problems and governmental deficits. Two further chapters cover the period from 1964 to 1999, including the challenge of new industries, oil discoveries, and the rise of devolutionary and nationalist politics. A new section for this edition covers the course of devolved politics, from the Scottish parliament of 1999 to the financial collapse of 2008 and the constitutional upheavals of 2014-15, rounding off this unique interpretation of a century of Scottish life from a cherished and multi-faceted historian.

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1. Finest Hour and After, 1911-1922
2. A Troubled Economy, 1922-1964
3. The Pillars of Society, 1922-1964
4. Politics and Government, 1922-1964
5. Mass Media: High Culture, 1922-1964
6. Economics and the Service Society, 1964-1999
7. Politics and the Better Nation, 1964-1999
8. ‘Point of Departure?’, 1999-2015
Further Reading
Chronological Table, 1906-2015

About the Author

Christopher Harvie, Professor of British and Irish Studies at the University of Tübingen, has written extensively on UK and Scottish history. A founder-historian at the Open University, 1969‒80, he is the author of over 16 books, including The Lights of Liberalism (1976), Scotland and Nationalism (1977), The Rise of Regional Europe (1994), Nineteenth-Century Britain (2000), and Scotland: A Short History (2014). He was a Member of the Scottish Parliament, 2007‒11. He spent 2007-11 in Scottish Parliament as MSP (SNP Regional List) for Fife, and was Political Liaison Officer to First Minister Alex Salmond. He has made several TV and Radio documentaries for the BBC and European media concerns, and lectured in Europe, East and West, North America and the Near East.


A bold and original book shot through with novel ideas.
Indispensable to anyone seeking to understand modern Scotland, and ... so well written that ... it will make the process of doing so a great pleasure.

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