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To the Ends of the Earth: Scotland's Global Diaspora, 1750-2010 [Kindle Edition]

T M Devine
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description


The Scots are one of the world's greatest nations of emigrants. For centuries, untold numbers of men, women and children have sought their fortunes in every conceivable walk of life and in every imaginable climate across the British Empire, the United States and elsewhere, from finance to industry, philosophy to politics.

To the Ends of the Earth puts this extraordinary epic centre stage, taking many famous stories and removing layers of myth and sentiment to reveal the no less startling truth, paying particular attention to the exceptional Scottish role as traders, missionaries and soldiers. This major new book is also a study of the impact of this global world on Scotland itself and the degree to which the Scottish economy was for many years an imperial economy, with intimate, important links through shipping, engineering, jute and banking to the most remote of settlements.

Filled with fascinating stories and with an acute awareness of the poverty and social inequality that provoked so much emigration, To the Ends of the Earth will make its readers think about the world in quite a different way.

Product Description


A seminal work ... a new iconoclasm which is welcome given the tosh that sometimes passes for knowledge on the subject of the Scottish diaspora. Commendably, Devine is not afraid to name and shame ... [he] has a rare gift for detecting contradictions (Harry McGrath Herald)

Devine's final book in a remarkable trilogy ... fascinating and far-reaching ... His conclusions are as thoughtful and incisive as you'd expect from an academic who has established himself as one of the deepest thinkers on Scottish identity and history, and whose books remain staggeringly popular (Scottish Field)

[This] rigorous and unsentimental history of Scotland's global diaspora ... explodes myths and foregrounds the prosaic realities of emigration ... it has the fascinating charm of a detective story (Guardian)

Presents a grand overview of Scottish emigration ... very revealing ... an example of why To the Ends of the Earth is so timely [is that] it helps define the real landscape of choice and decision that is now presenting itself more plainly since the last Scottish election (Tom Nairn Scottish Review of Books)

Sharply written ... Devine is an admirable historian, acerbic in judgment, and a pleasure to read ... fill[s] a serious gap left by the tendency of imperial historians to dwell on the political and capital power wielded in Westminster and the City of London (Spectator)

Devine has brought a greater understanding to this fascinating subject and offers an intriguing perspective on a key component of our history and national identity (Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland Herald)

About the Author

T.M. Devine (OBE) is University Research Professor and Director of the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 25727 KB
  • Print Length: 378 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0713997443
  • Publisher: Penguin (25 Aug. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HDK58M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #172,530 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking read 21 Nov. 2012
To The Ends of the Earth : Scotland's global diaspora, 1750-2010 by T.M.Devine, (Allen Lane 2011)

Given its capacity to transform cultures over generations, emigration is a profound subject and in this highly readable book professor Devine takes it a lot further. Tapping a vast statistical database, he shows that Scots are practically the world champions of emigration and have been so since medieval times. And far from being poverty-stricken peasants booted out in the Highland Clearances, most of this far-flung diaspora were relatively well-qualified and educated. Engineers, administrators, soldiers of fortune, Latin-quoting sons of nobility, farmers: they went looking for adventure, preferment, wealth and, very possibly, warmth in foreign climes even when times were good at home. And, as the stats show, they still are.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dry but fascinating 3 Aug. 2014
By Lendrick VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
TM Devine is serious historian and this is a serious history book, strong on facts and reasoned analysis, not so strong human interest stories or polemic. You get a wealth of facts about emigration from Scotland the product of extensive research, with some measured and mostly cautious commentary. As such is can be quite hard going at times if you are reading out of general interest as I was, rather than because you are studying for an exam. For all that though I found it mostly fascinating revealing a whole side of the country of my birth that I was mostly unaware of.

Devine takes a themed rather then chronological approach with chapters on the Church, the military, the role of women etc. which I found a little frustrating as it sometimes made it difficult to see the bigger picture and how these different themes intertwined.

My main problem with the book though is the almost dismissive handling of the highland clearances - something that I think Scots would see as central to any Diaspora. Devine clearly believes their importance is overplayed and devotes only one short chapter too them. He is clearly dismissive of the John Prebble view of Highland history, which informed so many Scots including myself. But frustrating never really fully engages with the debate, and when he mentions the clearances later in the context of recruitment to the army seems to contradict his earlier claim that they only occurred in the islands. I have no doubt he has an interesting case to argue I just wish he had made it more forcefully. .

Overall though a book anyone with a n interest in Scottish history should read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars old scotia and new scotia 14 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Professor Devine has written an absorbing book about the scottish diaspora.He deals with all aspects past and present in the turbulent history of Scotland, its restlessness, desire for adventure overseas, contributions in science, education, military prowess. the arts and enlightenment. Here is a full projection of what it means to be Scottish and Scotland's contribution to the world.At a crossroads today, is Scotland to be the first nation in the UK to strive for full independence or to cling to the union from which she has benefited for 3 centuries.Professor Devine leaves us to ponder the outcome in the near future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential history 28 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
No-one does Scottish History better than T M Devine. If you are thinking of buying this you are already interested in Scottish history and particularly perhaps in the way that Scottish cultural tentacles spread around the world by migration and emigration. Those of us who have only made it so far as England can marvel at the bravery of those who migrated properly. Back in 2007 I visited an exhibition devoted to Scottish influence in New Zealand in Te Papa Tongarewa - the MUSEUM OF NEW ZEALAND and was struck forcibly by the influence of Scottish migrants particularly on South island. This is a very accessible read and worth your time.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1st class account of Scottish influence worldwide 16 Sept. 2011
this is an erudite and fascinating account of Scots' contribution worldwide - past and present, proving yet again Mr Devines' scholarship and communications skills
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good history 15 Aug. 2013
I enjoyed this. It is full of facts, figures, explanations and annecdotes. The author manages to inform without either assuming you know a great deal of the subject already, but at the same time does not patronise. It is also 'good history' in that he does not have cast iron themes or theories, and then modify the information to make them appear infallible. When he does put forward a premise, or a broad theory he is quite happy to provide examples and information that do not substantiate, or even contradict, his premise.It is occasionally repetative as the same facts or issues reappear in different context or when a different broad category is being discussed - but one is left with the impression of having read a well researched, open minded review, deviod of shortbread tin sentimentality, but not unsympathetic, and a rare pleasure, a history book that acknowledges the ills of the past without trying to 'judge' from a 21st century smug political correct stance. Maybe of interest only to the Scots and their disaporia, but thought provoking and informative.
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