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Salmond: Against the Odds Paperback – 18 Oct 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn Ltd; Rev Upd edition (18 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780270666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780270661
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 236,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Torrance was born and brought up in Edinburgh and educated at Leith Academy, the University of Aberdeen and Cardiff University's School of Journalism. He began his journalistic career on the Edinburgh Evening News as a reporter from 2000-01, covering general news, the local arts scene and Scottish politics. David then moved into television to present and produce The Week In Politics for Grampian and Scottish TV from 2001-03. When STV replaced that show with Politics Now at the beginning of 2004 he continued in place as its Scottish Parliament reporter, returning to the same programme in the autumn of 2007 after a year and a half working as Parliamentary Aide to the Shadow Scottish Secretary David Mundell in the House of Commons. He currently works as a London-based writer, journalist and broadcaster, regularly appearing on the BBC, Sky and STV, as well as supplying obituaries to the Herald and commentary for the Scotsman, The Times and several websites.

David's first book, The Scottish Secretaries, was published by Birlinn to critical acclaim in 2006; his second, George Younger: A Life Well Lived, followed in 2008, while his third, 'We in Scotland' - Thatcherism in a Cold Climate, was published in 2009. In 2010 David published an unauthorised biography of the Scottish First Minister, Salmond: Against the Odds (Birlinn, updated with a paperback edition in 2011), Noel Skelton and the Property-Owning Democracy (Biteback) and Inside Edinburgh: Discovering the Classic Interiors of Edinburgh (Birlinn). His latest books are Great Scottish Speeches (Luath), a semi-authorised biography of David Steel, Rising Hope to Elder Statesman, and an edited work on the Scottish Conservative Party - Whatever Happened to Tory Scotland? (Edinburgh University Press).

Product Description

Review

'a very thorough and conscientious study' --Paul Henderson Scott

'Torrance's work is a classic' --Dorothy Grace Elder

'Torrance is a scrupulous, respectful biographer' --Harry Reid, The Herald

'Torrance's work is a classic' --Dorothy Grace Elder

'Torrance is a scrupulous, respectful biographer' --Harry Reid, The Herald

About the Author

David Torrance was born and brought up in Edinburgh and educated at Leith Academy, Aberdeen University and Cardiff University's School of Journalism. He was formerly political reporter for STV and is now a freelance writer, journalist and broadcaster. He lives in Edinburgh.

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Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Coda64 on 24 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Here's a review from Mr Torrance's subject himself. This was a published letter in the Herald newspaper on 23-09-14:

"Now that I have time on my hands to read newspapers, I noted the musings from my self-appointed biographer David Torrance (Why the Salmond magic is in need of a revisionist take, The Herald, September 22).
I understand, of course, that thus far the general Scottish response to the referendum is the exact opposite of what Tory-leaning David would have wished, and also he must be totally devastated by my standing down - thus depriving him of a lucrative income stream. However, allow me just two observations. First, I hardly know David Torrance. And secondly - and much more problematically for a biographer - he doesn't know me at all.

Rt. Hon Alex Salmond MSP,
First Minister,
Bute House, Edinburgh
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Northy on 9 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived on time and a very good read about the man and his politics his time as an MP in london amd MSP in scotland
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8 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. McDonald on 24 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
The book is a reasonable attempt at a biography of someone who has yet to achieve all that he hopes to achieve. But the author is a well known Unionist and he obviously attracts unionist readers. Just look at the highly biased and, frankly, distasteful earlier review.

I think the real biography of Salmond will come after his final term as Prime Minister of an independent Scotland.
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17 of 39 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on 5 April 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a very well-written and revealing biography of Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish National Party.

Salmond supports, and is supported by, big capital. He backed Donald Trump's luxury golf resort against local people's wishes, and accepted vast sums from Brian Souter, the extreme right-wing millionaire. Salmond condemned the merger of HBOS and Lloyds TSB as driven by `a bunch of short-selling spivs' but appointed the former chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Sir George Matheson, who defends short-selling, to chair his Council of Economic Advisers.

Salmond backs finance capital. He praised Ireland's debt-driven bubble: "With the advantage of full independent membership of the European Union it has used that membership to attract resources and invest in the future. And it has used its sovereignty to develop and apply policies that first of all benefit its own people and its own country." He wrote in The Times in 2007, "We are pledging a light-touch regulation suitable to a Scottish financial sector with its outstanding reputation for probity." In 2008 he said, "Scottish banks are among the most stable financial institutions in the world."

Salmond admitted that a breakaway Scotland would be £1.5 billion in the red in its first year. Jim Fairlie, the SNP's deputy leader till 1984, said, "I wanted independence for the sake of it, even if it meant Scotland being worse off." Indeed, the SNP wants to break away from Britain, knowing it would be bad for Scotland.

Salmond says he wants `independence to create jobs, ... protect our society, and grow our economy'. But breaking away would destroy jobs, split and harm our society and shrink Scotland's economy.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By hugo on 24 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
Salmond is singularly responsible for the most divisive period in Scotland in memory. Something the author seems to overlook
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