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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important, thoughtful, challenging & hopeful-get this book!
Get this book. It's a very important contribution to anyone who is seriously thinking about the referendum on whether or not Scotland should be an independent state.

Gerry puts this event in the context of British and Scottish political history without getting too jargony or overly academic.

It take the so called debate away from the slanging...
Published 10 months ago by Joe Lafferty

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking
Thought provoking....but I found the writing repetitive throughout and this made it a bit of a struggle to persist with!! Could have cut to the chase sooner and stayed with it! That said there are some good ideas for moving the country forward. I enjoyed the final cheers best....
Thank you Gerry for trying to shake Scots, who think they are fair minded...and who...
Published 3 months ago by Sheila


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important, thoughtful, challenging & hopeful-get this book!, 5 April 2014
By 
Joe Lafferty - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Caledonian Dreaming: The Quest for a Different Scotland (Open Scotland Series) (Paperback)
Get this book. It's a very important contribution to anyone who is seriously thinking about the referendum on whether or not Scotland should be an independent state.

Gerry puts this event in the context of British and Scottish political history without getting too jargony or overly academic.

It take the so called debate away from the slanging matches, the simplistic binary arguments, or the two different 'accountancy versions' of Scotland

As well as challenging the British state, he also critiques the myths we scots tell ourselves. For example on education. We may have no student fees, but we still have appalling educational inequality - and we have had responsibility for this since the 1800's!

This is a non partisan book that will upset elements of both the NO camp and the YES camp!
Even tho his critique hits the target, it is a hopeful book - his opening chapter speaks of the difference between hope and optimism - hope being much deeper. And he ends with ideas for a future Scotland crowdsourced from policy makers called 'how to make a new democracy'

No matter what the outcome in September, I want to be part of the group that seeks to capitalise on the positive energy generated by this event and help play my part in making a new democracy in Scotland. Gerry's book is an important contribution to this possibility.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all interested in UK politics, 7 May 2014
By 
John G. Sturrock (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This is a really important book. For anyone interested in gaining a real understanding of the dynamics behind the political developments in Scotland in the past generation and more, this is a rich and well-researched resource. The book challenges orthodoxies and received wisdom across the political spectrum, calling to account those on the left and the right who seem locked into old paradigms. More than this, though, Hassan presents a challenge to our thinking about democracy and poses questions which go to the heart of modern politics. A book for our time by one of the most thoughtful writers of our time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important guide to referendum issues, 8 May 2014
Most critical accounts of contemporary Scotland fall into two traps. One is to witter on about the dangers of nationalism without addressing the highly reactionary nature of British nationalism, which cuts across all Westminster parties, including Scottish Labour. The other is to respond to the barrage of propaganda by defending or even glorifying the SNP.

Hassan's account escapes both of these. It asks important questions about ingrained conservatism in large parts of Scottish society, and about our national egalitarian myths. These are welcome contributions to what's often a sterile and partisan debate. Anyone with an interest in the referendum's main conflicts will need to buy this book. While nobody will agree with everything in it, it's a positive step forward for mainstream ideas in Scotland.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking, 5 Nov. 2014
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Thought provoking....but I found the writing repetitive throughout and this made it a bit of a struggle to persist with!! Could have cut to the chase sooner and stayed with it! That said there are some good ideas for moving the country forward. I enjoyed the final cheers best....
Thank you Gerry for trying to shake Scots, who think they are fair minded...and who think live in a more equal society, from complacency. I wholeheartedly agree with the analysis that institutions and elites in Scotland are in many cases holding the progress of the country back. I also agree that we need to hear everyone's voice, there are too many disenfranchised people in Scotland and they and we all, need to address that. We need to hear much less from the usual suspects in mainstream media (news and soaps alike!!), big business, institutions of all kinds, old and new elites, in the Scottish and UK contexts. We all need to start talking about the Scotland we want to live in....and get on with working together to build it. In this digitally connected age such a future is absolutely possible. Education...in its broadest sense, sharing our stories, and universal access to high speed internet are I think key to creating the positive future we all want for ourselves and our bairns for many generations to come. We all have a personal and practical contribution to make. Let's crack on!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gerry Hassan gives a very full account, not just ..., 25 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Caledonian Dreaming: The Quest for a Different Scotland (Open Scotland Series) (Paperback)
Gerry Hassan gives a very full account, not just of the issues that an independent Scotland would face, but also the background that has led up to the point where Scotland is now. In places it is quite a personal account which is quite refreshing for a political book of this sort. He questions many of our assumptions about how democratic our society currently is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A primer of history in the making, 29 Aug. 2014
By 
Alastair McIntosh (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Caledonian Dreaming: The Quest for a Different Scotland (Open Scotland Series) (Paperback)
No time to write a proper review with so much happening on the Scottish independence front, but for those wanting to grapple in-depth with the issues, and from a perspective that respects both sides of the debate, this book is both a key primer and will, in time, take its place amongst indicative historical documents.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gerry Hassan explores the possibilities of and the opportunities facing ..., 22 Oct. 2014
By 
Philip Denning (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Caledonian Dreaming: The Quest for a Different Scotland (Open Scotland Series) (Paperback)
Gerry Hassan explores the possibilities of and the opportunities facing Scotland and the UK in the year of the Referendum and beyond. It's a clear-eyed and well written exploration of the many myths of Scotland and the UK and he encourages readers to look anew at the country and imagine the possibilities. It's not a history of Scotland in a convential sense, nor is it a politics primer but its an attempt to explore a country by looking closely at the public narratives with all their inbuilt (and often uncontested) assumptions. Hassan attempts to begin a process of contesting and replacing these dominant narratives. Given the result on 18 September, the book remains timely and the quest continues
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4.0 out of 5 stars I voted "Yes", 29 Nov. 2014
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I read this shortly before the Scottish Referendum and couldn't decide if I should vote Yes or No. The author certainly knows his subject but doesn't clearly communicate his (and other people's) ideas to his readers. Principally because many of the people who buy this kind of book are incapable of understanding the arguments expressed. Me included! Neverthless worth a read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scotlands Big Year - understand it past ,present and future, 2 May 2014
Gerry Hassan gets beyond the myopic fights for political power and exposes the limitations of that old way of doing politics. He shows how every opportunity for change - has potential to be an opportunity for visionary change or populist regression. Ultimately though he shines a light on Scotland's potential . If you want to fully understand what that is and what has to be overcome in order to move towards it read this excellent book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nane the wiser!, 16 Aug. 2014
By 
Mr. A. G. Sutherland (Stonehaven, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Caledonian Dreaming: The Quest for a Different Scotland (Open Scotland Series) (Paperback)
Coming from a council house background and being the first person from my whole family to get to family to get to university - a true example of social mobility - you would think I had the background and brains to understand this book. Unfortunately the cocktail of chip on shoulder, sociological and rarefied academic mumbo jumbo meant I didn't have a clue what Gerry was on about. Still worth a read to see what the alternatives are, though and to understand the entitlement and blame culture that is the real reason why Scotland is falling behind.
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Caledonian Dreaming: The Quest for a Different Scotland (Open Scotland Series)
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