In this follow-up to The Scottish Nation: 1700–2007, University of Edinburgh history professor Devine casts his net more widely to describe Scottish emigration throughout the world. A poor land in the 18th century, Scotland lagged behind England's Industrial Revolution. By 1850 it had caught up, but Scots continued to leave in record numbers. They made an early, bad impression in revolutionary America because most were loyalists, but this was soon replaced by the ongoing stereotype of the thrifty, superachieving Scotsman. There was no shortage of failure and bad behavior, but Devine admits that, wherever they settled, Scots were overrepresented among business, education, military leadership, and missionary work. He explores the source of that success in chapters on Scottish demographics, religion, and economics, devoting as much space to his nation's culture as its emigrants. Although not an academic study, the book contains more statistics, tables, and critical arguments than the average history buff would want, but readers willing to skim will enjoy an enlightening experience. 10 maps. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 06/13/2011 Release date: 10/01/2011 Genre: Nonfiction
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