23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Important new perspectives on Reformation,
This review is from: The Poor Had No Lawyers: Who Owns Scotland and How They Got it (Paperback)
SEE ALSO REVIEWS TO HARDBACK EDITION ... all the other reviews of this book (5 at present) have been posted to the hardback edition which is out of print and the 2 books have not currently been linked. The hardback revies, of which mine here is a replicaiton, can be viewed at The Poor Had No Lawyers
I just want to say well done, yet again, Andy Wightman, and what struck me as most significant about this book, given my own areas of research, is the new light that you shed on the manner in which Scottish landed power may have come so quickly over to the Reformation, not so much out of spiritual conviction, but because they saw a land grab in the carve-up of monastic properties. That takes Max Weber's Protestant ethic a step further by far!
My old friend William Kingston who was at Trinity, Dublin (you may recall he was cited in that Ecolgist paper we wrote many years ago with Dan Morgan) held the view, based on his monastic researches, that monasteries were the first corporations - the idea of corporate personhood having been devised to hand on property amongst communities of men and women who had renounced owning property privately. But the capitalist corporation usurped that principle. Now land is handed on via family companies and "trusts" while used as a tax dodge to write off as an "expense" the costs of running their sporting hobbies and holiday homes. The land rover goes down as a tax expense, as does, no doubt, the cost of the airline ticket to go and "manage" the festering pile (of peasant tenants). A travesty - you and I know because the likes of us get people ringing us up now and again in despair at having their lives messed around at the whim of some laird's narcisstic fancy. You have done sterling work in exposing it down the years. A knighthood to you when the Scottish Parliament is so empowered, I say! Go well ... A.