Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
Good reference book but not as a general read
on 17 November 2010
Having almost finished a Scottish History degree I can say with certainty that this book makes for a useful reference when it's a hour before your essay is due in and you need a final reference to add but you don't have time for a mad dash to the library. It spans from c.400 to the modern day roughly (1990s). As Mr Devine's review states, the later sections are very broad-brush and won't captivate anyone really interested in Scottish nationalism/unionism, the literary renaissance or devolution.
I've given it 3-stars because despite it being a good reference book, that's ALL it is. It is NOT suited for the following:
*a teenage student as a book to teach them Scottish history (it moves too quick and expects a degree of knowledge)
*someone expecting plenty of detail (it has to cover a couple thousand years and has to blitz the main areas of historiography and drop the important names and events frequently)
I can attest to being the teenage student with an interst in Scottish history and reading this years ago. It was terrible for the purpose that I wanted (learning). However, nowadays almost with my degree done I can definately say it is designed for the university student and for quick reference as one of the main go-to books that covers everything.