I found the first half of "How the Scots Invented the Modern World" to be very informative and entertaining. The portraits of Hutcheson, Kames, Hume and Smith were interesting both by themselves and in the way in which the author explained the connections (both personal and intellectual) between these thinkers of the Scottish "Enlightenment." I was convinced that in one sense these Scots really did invent the modern world, or at least the modern mindset.
The book weakens, however, as it becomes in the second half a fairly pedestrian retelling of accomplishments of Scotsmen and their descendants. It was refreshing not to read any excessive English-bashing in this… Read more