Scottish History For Dummies Paperback – 25 Jul 2014
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This book is nothing if not comprehensive (Frost Magazine, August 2014)
From the Back Cover
- The history of Scotland from the Stone Age to today
- The Industrial Revolution and Highland Clearances
- Independence drives through the ages
- World wars and the 20th century
Explore the rich and fascinating history of Scotland
Want to discover how a small country on the edge of northern Europe packs an almighty historical punch? Scottish History For Dummies is your guide to the story of Scotland and her place within the historical narratives of Britain, Europe and the rest of the world. From the Beaker people right up to the present day, it s all inside.
- Meet the peoples of Scotland get to know how the peoples who lived through the Stone, Bronze and Iron ages lived, what they ate and how they were viewed by the Romans
- Witness the making of a kingdom discover how the Kingdom of Alba came to be thanks largely to the actions of Kenneth MacAlpin, whose Gaels defeated the Picts
- Encounter the superheroes of Scottish history meet the men whose battles against English domination created the nation of Scotland: William Wallace and Robert the Bruce
- Travel through Great Britain and its Empire explore the events surrounding the unmaking of Scotland as a nation during the 18th century and how they impacted Scottish national identity
- Explore an industrial economy pull back the curtain on how Scotland was built into an industrial economy by inventors, explorers and missionaries
Open the book and find:
- The Roman invasion and (near) conquest of Scotland
- Scotland s politics, languages and religion
- The reigns of William I, Alexander II and Alexander III
- The Wars of Independence
- Scotland during the Renaissance
- Charles I and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms
- Industrialisation and the Highland Clearances
- The making of modern Scotland
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Top customer reviews
That out of the way, an accessible book on Scottish history could easily fall into the trap of writing a romantic text that makes for an enjoyable tourist read (see Stone Voices: The Search for Scotland) but fails to provide that key requirement of a real history - some remote sense of objectivity. William Knox manages to avoid that pitfall and, like many books in the 'Dummies' series', approaches his subject quite matter of fact and without sentimental pomposity.
I can definitely recommend this book for someone without any preconceptions of what Scottish history is about, or those with strong preconceptions but who are prepared to at least dust those prejudices with a sprinkling of historical fact.
Scottish History for Dummies is no exception. It's all here, clearly laid out and William Knox evidently knows his stuff. I am already very familiar with Scottish History and have University qualifications in the subject but this is a refreshing read and can be enjoyed and understood by anyone with an interest, whether they have some knowledge already or are new to the topic.
I can't fault this as an aid to learning more about Scotland's History and in the current political climate it seems like many people are looking to find out more about how and where Scotland fits in to the British Isles and this is an excellent place to start.
The 'Dummies' books are a fun and engaging way to learn and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this edition to anyone with an interest in Scottish History. It's maybe 'fun' and 'quirky' but it still manages to be a solid read without the usual dryness that seems to accompany texts that focus on this subject. Nicely presented, well written and a very readable.
Every period is carefully covered with sizeable chunks with no gimmicky presentation, the events of each era are carefully chronicled before moving on to the next, making looking up the period you want a breeze. It's packed with pointers for further study on each topic, with a plethora of resources mentioned both online and offline.
The Part of Tens that every Dummies book has includes inventions and discoveries that Scotland gave the world; some well known, like the mackintosh, and others a little less so, like chloroform. There are also ten lesser known Scottish people that you may not have heard of.
The one feature that jumps out at the reader is the writing style of the author, Dr William Knox. As mentioned by others, Bill Knox has a chatty, anecdotal writing style and is very fond of exclamation marks. Very!! In a sample section of ten paragraphs taken at random, four ended in an exclamation mark.
Often these exclamation marks are used to highlight bizarre or interesting points, and they do this well, but the book would have been just as informative if two - thirds of them had been replaced with a full stop.
For someone wanting a very general and almost bang up to date introduction to Scottish History this book ticks all the boxes, more serious scholars will almost certainly know to look beyond a 'Dummies' series book for in-depth research.
Laid out in a clear and easily digestible format, all the standard elements uniform with the "dummies" volumes - icons for first-hand accounts, technical details and important items to remember, together with box-outs of additional information etc., are presented here.
The subject is treated in a well-balanced and fairly accurate account ( there are a few minor errors that should have been caught in editing, but nothing substantially wrong). Some popular historical misconceptions are gently corrected along the way; this isn't a comprehensive or particularly detailed volume, its purpose is to provide an approachable entry point for those new to the subject or who wish to expand their knowledge of Scotland's history.
A good and recommendable volume from a trusted and popular publisher.
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Most recent customer reviews
As a beginner to reading up on Scottish history I learnt a lot.Read more
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