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The Poor Had No Lawyers Hardcover – 1 Oct 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn Ltd; First Edition edition (1 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841589071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841589077
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 649,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'It is historical and oh-so contemporary and, perhaps, in these exciting times, a call to arms' - Laura Marney

About the Author

Andy Wightman was born in Dundee and gained a degree in forestry at Aberdeen University. He has worked as a ghillie, environmental scientist, and an environmental campaigner before becoming a self-employed writer and researcher in 1993. He is the author of several books and a prominent analyst and critic of land reform process. He lives in Edinburgh.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mr. G. Hassan on 20 Oct 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a refreshing, original, challenging and important analysis of contemporary Scotland, its past, present and future.

It will challenge many of your most central assumptions. That land ownership and land reform are about rural areas. That this has nothing to say about Glasgow and Edinburgh. That Scotland is an egalitarian country, unlike class-divided, hiearchical England. That the days of feudalism and power acting with impunity are long over.

Wightman is an expert on land ownership, but he and this book are about much more. In short, what he is addressing is how power is exercised in Scotland; in our past and to this day. The forces of reaction - from feudal barons to the present day 'great and good' constantly usurp others rights, taking from the commons and individuals.

And what Wightman beautifully challenges - in detail - is the Scots blindness to this because of our old comfort story of being an egalitarian nation. What this has masked is that Scots dont want to face up to issues of power, privilege, abuse and exclusion. Yes we love going on about some mythical wrong done to a group in the far distant past, but real misuses of power - involving complexity, the abuse of the law and due process - well forget it.

This is an important book on every level, and a book I am proud Andy has had the time and inclination to write. It is up to the rest of us to begin a national debate about what to do about it.

Gerry Hassan
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Fiona Allen on 19 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the sort of history we didn't get taught in school; probably because it has the capacity to stir the emotions at the way the Scottish poor became the Scottish dispossessed poor. It's fascinating reading, but it's also enough to make you want to storm the barricades!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By monkeyspank on 21 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well!.... It would be hard to better the first review, which must presumably have been written by one of Mr. Wightman's best mates. But I am not going to disagree, this is a masterful, scholarly, meticulously researched book which should sit on every bookshelf in Scotland, right next to Tom Johnstone's "Our Scots Noble Families".

Having waited a very long time to read this book, I was spellbound. However a word of caution for "kindle" readers. Some of the maps, charts etc are incredibly detailed but on a kindle they are "awfy wee" and of course they are in black and white. Given the stature of this important book I now intend to buy a hardback copy. People will still be reading this book in 100 years.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By scammonden on 7 April 2013
Format: Paperback
An extremely well presented book
A very good read
Exposes some interesting history of who owns what and how they got it
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ingy on 10 Feb 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent history of how the Scottish aristocracy built the law around a method of protecting their great land steal after the reformation. Good resume of current land law and its need for reform.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Fiona Allen on 21 Mar 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the sort of history we didn't get taught in school; probably because it has the capacity to stir the emotions at the way the Scottish poor became the Scottish dispossessed poor. It's fascinating reading, but it's also enough to make you want to storm the barricades!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jan Brown on 27 Mar 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A fascinating insight into the ownership of land in Scotland. Parts are a bit 'legalistic' for a lay person, but in general it is very readable.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Delahoy on 15 Mar 2011
Format: Hardcover
A fascinating book full of lot of analytical data. The author clearly knows his subject and as a Land Law practitioner I can see that Scotland has been very slow in registration of its Land Titles which has aided a minority to control large swathes of land. Compulsory Registration should be passed by the Scottish Parliament for all land in Scotland by a specific date. The author's description of the Common Good Fund and the mismanagement of it by the Local Authorities makes interesting reading. The Burgh's again typical of people's greed.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious of what has been going on north of the border in relation to land ownership for the past 800 years.
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