Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
Megalomaniac taught a life lesson: don't make assumptions
on 24 September 2004
A fascinating book, made all the more fascinating because I read it immediately before taking a holiday on the Isles of Lewis and Harris; I wanted to find out more about Leverhulme's influence or (as it turned out) lack of influence on the islands. The start of the book is a little dry, with a lot of seemingly unnecessary historical baggage thrown in for good measure. But persist through the first 50 or so pages and the book will start to come to life. At first you feel sympathy for Leverhulme's aspirations for improving people's lives before realising that he was virtually ignorant in respect of the ordinary crofter's traditional way of life and the lack of progress on land reform in the years immediately prior to his proprietorship. I found the book absolutely fascinating, made more so towards the end by actually being on Lewis and seeing places referred to in the book, and I'd heartily recommend it to anyone considering a holiday on Lewis and/or Harris.