29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
A Potent Alternative History and Analysis of Scotland,
This review is from: The Poor Had No Lawyers (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.