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216 × 138 mm
208 pages
12 Mar 2008
Contemporary Worlds

The Road to Independence? Scotland since the Sixties Murray Pittock

Is the ‘United’ Kingdom really as united as its name might suggest? For many people in the UK, increasing nationalism in Scotland raises serious questions about what Britain is, and where its future lies. In The Road to Independence?, Murray Pittock not only gives an account of modern Scottish nationalism, but also explains what Scotland’s role in Britain has been historically, and why it has changed radically in the last fifty years, with the debate about independence coming to the fore.

The author relates the economic, social and cultural history of Scotland, the rise of modern Scottish nationalism and the reasons for it, the recent history and differing character of Scotland's cities and cultural industries, the impact of multiculturalism on Scottish as distinct from British society, and the changes wrought by devolution, including the reasons for the election of Scotland’s first-ever nationalist government in 2007.

The Road to Independence? is the only history of Scotland available with a truly contemporary focus. In dealing with everything from modern painting to political structures it is remarkably comprehensive; in explaining the rise of modern nationalism it is of fundamental importance to policymakers and the wider public. It will be of interest to students of politics, history, law and social science, and to all who want to understand the rapidly changing face of Britain.

‘enormously informative and often thought-provoking . . . this book could hardly be improved on: it’s lively, lucid, witty, beautifully written.’ – The Scotsman

‘a fine introduction to today’s Scotland and its place in the United Kingdom . . . timely and comprehensive.’ – Nations and Nationalism

‘a well arranged exposition of the various pressures and stresses Scottish society has faced and faces still.’ – The Diplomat

'a perceptive and engaging look at the changing contours of modern Scotland and its relationship with and within the United Kingdom . . . Pittock brings to this topic a fresh narrative and clarity of argument that successfully tie together the many disparate strands of contemporary Scottish culture, politics, and society in interesting and perceptive ways.’ – Journal of British Studies

‘a clear and accessible description of the last fifty years of Scottish history . . . [Pittock] deserves congratulation for tackling a difficult task and providing much to think about.’ – Journal of Contemporary History

‘entertaining and vigorously written . . . intelligent and self-confident Scottish good sense.’ – Journal of Scottish Historical Studies

‘Both are tremendously good reads, but Pittock feels much more of our time and of the future.’ – Canadian Journal of History

‘This author’s clear, thoughtful history of modern Scotland deserves to reach a wide audience… In a book packed with interesting detail, Pittock deftly weaves a narrative that is at once an intensely informative introduction to modern Scotland and a careful meditation about the nation's future’ – The Historian

‘Murray Pittock says that his purpose is “to give a flavour of Scottish culture, politics and society since 1960”. This he does impressively, but he also does much more. The book is a balanced and perceptive introduction to the whole question of independence, but with much to say also to those already familiar with it.’ – Paul Henderson Scott, former consul-general in the diplomatic service and president of the Saltire Society, and author of Towards Independence and Scotland Resurgent

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Murray Pittock is A. C. Bradley Professor of Literature at Glasgow University and the author of a number of books on Scottish, Irish and British history, politics and society including Inventing and Resisting Britain (1997), Celtic Identity and the British Image (1999), Scottish Nationality (2001) and A New History of Scotland (2003).