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on 5 June 2006
I have had the privilege to read an advance copy of this book. Written in a very readable style and mixing anecdote with serious historical analysis the author has researched his subject with great thoroughness. I heartily recommend this debut work from a writer with great promise.
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on 22 September 2008
Really the title of this book doesnt do a justice to the wealth and depth of the contents contained within. What Torrance's book provides via individual profiles of the forty Scottish Secretaries from 1885 is a potent, acutely-observed account of the high politics of Scotland from Victorian times to the present day.

His individual portraits are well-researched and written, and many of them provide valuable biographies on people although influential in Scottish life have either not written autobiographies or had biographies written on them: Willie Ross and Bruce Millan being two obvious examples.

So dont let the rather dry title put you off which is a fascinating book, and if you are a lover of political biography dip in and out of forty excellent portraits.
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