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Last of the Free: A Millennial History of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland Hardcover – 21 Sep 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing; 1st ed. edition (21 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840180293
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840180299
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 16.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 819,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book provides an excellent insight into the lives of the people of the Highlands and islands of Scotland. The book charts the history of the population from prehistoric time to the present day, illustrating their hardship and struggle through the ages against political, religious and economic oppression. The book isn't all about battles, clans and chiefs, but focusses on the ordinary people going about their daily business trying to survive in a harsh political and physical environment. I would recommend this book as a historical introduction to anyone thinking of venturing into this beautifull area of Scotland or just wanting to know more about the grass roots of highland history.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Gem from James HUNTER 25 April 2013
By Kintra - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The title of this book was inspired by a speech by Calgacus (83 A.D.). When defending the loss of regional independence of the Highlands and Islands, he addressed his followers as the 'last of the free'. There is an introduction followed by a brief summary of 'The Most Distant dwellers upon Earth' - from 8000 B.C. to 87 A.D. Then we're into the real meat; eight chapters about the land and peoples who were the 'Last of the Free' from 88 A.D. to 1999. This is a wonderful read for all who are students of (Scottish) history and one of the best books written about the 'Highland Clearances' that I have read. James Hunter explains in detail, the history of the Highlands from the Middle Ages right up until the middle of the twentieth century. Make no mistake; this is not an easy read and one must take time to "absorb" the essential detail. As my g-g-grandfather emigrated from Mull in 1852, I was especially interested in the latter chapters on The Hebrides and the period of the clearances which started late in the 17th century and continued well into the nineteenth century.

The penultimate chapter refers to the "Napier Commission", a report by Lord Napier recommending reform and published in April 1884. Far from solving the crofting problem, the report actually renewed unrest, leading eventually to the formation of the Highland Law Reform Association which later became the Highland Land League.

And finally some quotes from Page 382 - "Almost from the moment of Scotland's emergence, its political class, often by violent means, sought agressively to expand the country's borders in order to bring the entire Highlands and Islands within those borders....much of the story of the Highlands and Islands consists of the downside of a process of Scottish nation-building which most histories of Scotland tend to treat as if it amounted to the working out of some divine, and beneficent plan......It is no surprise, that when in 1707, the Highlands and Islands became a part of the United Kingdom, rather than a part of the former self-governing Scotland which then merged with England, the immediate outcome as far as the Highlands and Islands were concerned, was a tightening, not a slackening, of external control."
5.0 out of 5 stars this was a great starting point 15 July 2016
By John G. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author provides a broad summary of the history of the Highlands and the Islands from the perspective of the people who lived there. The author does not get bogged down with details of battles, but concentrates on their implications and the social changes in the region. For an American with Highland roots and virtually no knowledge of the region and its history, this was a great starting point.
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivery better than other students waiting on copies from the bookstore 5 Sept. 2014
By pruenpiper - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Delivery better than other students waiting on copies from the bookstore. Well read but not abused. In good condition and a great price.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its about Highlanders what more do you want 13 Jan. 2013
By Jeff Sims - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So i'm not entirely sure if i'm just reviewing the product or the condition i got it in or really what but, Freedom!!!!!!!!!!

I had to by the book for a class it was in good condition and came quickly.
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