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To the Ends of the Earth: Scotland's Global Diaspora, 1750-2010 (Allen Lane History) Hardcover – 25 Aug 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (25 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713997443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713997446
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.7 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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 is the author of the bestselling The Scottish Nation, 1700-2007. He is the Sir William Fraser Professor of Scottish History and Palaeography at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2001, Professor Devine was awarded the Royal Gold Medal, Scotland's supreme academic accolade.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ronaldjgibson on 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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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By reader792 on 16 Sep 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr President on 14 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
T.M. Devine knows his stuff, he knows so much about the global influence of Scots that he had to write a follow on book from his previous "Scotlands Empire". I say follow on, for this book is more an updated version of that earlier book. The first chapter for me was akin to the honeymoon period - I went in with the best of intentions to read the whole book, learn about the subject matter and finish it in a state of enlightenment that Devine's books are supposed to leave you. Well so I am told.

However, I struggled. Was I not smart enough? Was it the time of day I was reading the material? Just now I am also reading a book called Savage Continent and I was trying to establish why I was liking that book and not Devine's. It then hit me - To the End of the Earth is just plain boring. As I stated previously, Devine knows his stuff and it shows. He can write clearly too, there is no jargon or long windedness. But as a writer, he lacks the ability to actually make the reader engage with the story he is telling and care about the people he is describing. Chapters consist of a long stream of company names and characters mentioned once - so the reader, well this reader is left feeling like he is reading a page of stats and expected to get excited about it. He is no Michael Fry.

In terms of his facts he is spot on. Using up to date research and also new analysis of available statistics - the information on the Scottish slave trade is a prime example.

History is about educating people in how what came before influences them now. It should fire up excitement, it should be made so accessible that it seems the blood stains of so long ago are not yet dry. However, in this book, the subject matter is very dry indeed.
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