Customer Review

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freeing ourselves to be free, 27 Nov 2013
This review is from: Blossom: What Scotland Needs to Flourish (Viewpoints) (Paperback)
I must declare an interest. I first got to know Lesley Riddoch back in the 1990s when she became involved in the Isle of Eigg Trust of which I was a founder. Two factors helped the seed set by the original trust to grow strong and produce the blossom of land reform now so apparent on Eigg. One was the local community gradually finding its voice and taking over the running of the trust circa 1994. The the second, intricately bound in with the first, was Lesley's involvement and her use of radio and press to help bolster island voices and confidence.

The reason why Lesley knows what she's writing about in Blossom is that she's actually done it. Her chapter on Eigg is brilliant, an important contribution to the social history (even if, as the author, she has to understate her own role as an agent of empowerment). The rest of the book gives many other moving examples. Lesley Riddoch is that very rare combination of a talker, a doer and a thinker - the Scots genius in its most effective expression.

A few weeks ago she gave a launch address for Blossom in the Centre for Human Ecology - you'll find the video on the CHE's website - and what most struck many of the packed audience was her emphasis that Scotland will only ever be "free" inasmuch as we, the people, become free within ourselves. Political independence is the small question. The big question is whether we're willing to rise to what it means to become independent within ourselves. To find the responsibility, develop the capacity, have the humility, even the love that is necessary for the task.

"Blossom" offers many examples of people and groups finding such independence for themselves. It's not rocket science; only people science. Lesley herself has often been a key agent lighting the blue touchpapers. I remember in the early days of Eigg being at the receiving end of her methodology. I'd come out with something about empowerment in the context of "Highland psychohistory", and she'd say (it happened on a ferry crossing), "Psycho-what? Alastair! Can you repeat that in plain language?"

Damn it! She knew how to make you feel stupid and give you confidence at the same time. She pushed me until it boiled down to saying, "We've got to lance our old boils" or something like that, and I was left rubbing my eyes and thinking, "My goodness - is it really as simple as saying it like that?"

In a nutshell, Lesley helps people to find the words to express their feelings in ways that enables them better to understand themselves, and this is what makes Blossom not just a good read, but a vital one in these times. It is a book that deserves circulation far beyond Scotland, and well done to the wonderful Luath Press for taking it on and making such a nice job of the production.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.6 out of 5 stars (86 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (62)
4 star:
 (17)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
£11.99 £9.93
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Scotland

Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,856