It is only natural, Herman suggests, that a country that once ranked among Europe's poorest, if most literate, would prize the ideal of progress, measured "by how far we have come from where we once were." Forged in the Scottish Enlightenment, that ideal would inform the political theories of Francis Hutcheson, Adam Smith, and David Hume, and other Scottish thinkers who viewed "man as a product of history," and whose collective enterprise involved "nothing less than a massive reordering of human knowledge" (yielding, among other things, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, first published in Edinburgh in 1768, and the Declaration of Independence, published in Philadelphia just a few years later). On a more immediately practical front, but no less bound to that notion of progress, Scotland also fielded inventors, warriors, administrators, and diplomats such as Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, Simon MacTavish, and Charles James Napier, who created empires and great fortunes, extending Scotland's reach into every corner of the world.
Herman examines the lives and work of these and many more eminent Scots, capably defending his thesis and arguing, with both skill and good cheer, that the Scots "have by and large made the world a better place rather than a worse place." --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I liked the medical chapter on the introduction of hands on research concerning the organs of the body - vs. blood letting and guess work.Published 12 months ago by Paul Argue
The author doesn't appear to have a drop of Scottish blood in him (unusual that in itself). He is a history professor with a gift for research and writing like a novelist; and... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Mary Joyce Gillis
This is one of the most informative books i have ever read. It explains so much of what i had previously been only vaguely aware of, and provides context to our recent (last 400... Read morePublished on Oct. 19 2012 by austricanuck
I'm all for bold and provocative titles, and I suppose this book's title is appropriate for the subject matter. Read morePublished on July 13 2004 by Steven Beishuizen
The sensations I have upon completing an exceptional book are very akin to the refreshment, exhilaration, and enlivenment that I feel after drinking a glass of ice water on a hot... Read morePublished on June 29 2004 by Michael Lima
Excellent and very readable story of the Scots contribution to Western civilization and the foundations of the USA in particularPublished on April 7 2004
At times interesting, at times dull. I was fine with that until I came to page 235 to read about Scotts in the American South. Read morePublished on April 3 2004 by Amazon Customer
I am a Presbyterian pastor who received this excellent short
history of Scotland as a Christmas gift from a parishoner. Read more
but I found this one of the driest books I've read in ages. I was quite eager to learn more about the history of Scotland and the Scots; it's part of my heritage. Read morePublished on Jan. 5 2004 by Canuck reader