on 6 February 2014
Andro Linklater has written a book which is extremely comprehensive in scope and fascinating in its detail. It's unusual to look at history through the lens of our attitudes to land and ownership of it, but he does convince me that this is indeed our most fundamental relationship and depending on how we have approached this issue, democracy and prosperity have flourished or failed. It looks at the history of England from the Enclosures in the 15th century onwards, and at how we exported our attitudes toward private property to the New World when we left for America. He also looks at different attitudes in the rest of Europe, in tribal societies, in Russia and China among others... and reaches a point where he shows just how this issue of ownership is going to dictate our navigation of the 21st century. Andro Linklater has a great way of painting the picture of crucial events and individuals which makes it highly readable. Highly recommended.