Independence or Union: Scotland's Past and Scotland's Present (Paperback)

Independence or Union: Scotland's Past and Scotland's Present By T.M. Devine Cover Image

Independence or Union: Scotland's Past and Scotland's Present (Paperback)


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There can be no relationship in Europe's history more creative, significant, vexed and uneasy than that between Scotland and England.

From the Middle Ages onwards the island of Britain has been shaped by the unique dynamic between Edinburgh and London, exchanging inhabitants, monarchs, money and ideas, sometimes in a spirit of friendship and at others in a spirit of murderous dislike.

Tom Devine's seminal new book explores this extraordinary history in all its ambiguity, from the seventeenth century to the present.

When not undermining each other with invading armies, both Scotland and England have broadly benefited from each other's presence - indeed for long periods of time nobody questioned the union which joined them. But as Devine makes clear, it has for the most part been a relationship based on consent, not force, on mutual advantage, rather than antagonism - and it has always held the possibility of a political parting of the ways.

With the United Kingdom under a level of scrutiny unmatched since the eighteenth century Independence or Union is the essential guide.
T. M. Devine has written three books for Penguin: The Scottish Nation, Scotland's Empire and To the Ends of the Earth. He is Sir William Fraser Professor Emeritus of Scottish History and Palaeography at the University of Edinburgh. In 2001 he was awarded the Royal Gold Medal and has won all three major prizes for Scottish historical research. He was knighted in 2014.
Product Details ISBN: 9780141981574
ISBN-10: 0141981571
Publisher: Penguin UK
Publication Date: January 26th, 2017
Pages: 320
Language: English
Deserves to be read by everyone interested in the future of the United Kingdom... this is analytical, synthetic, argumentative history at its best; it slays lazy myths and tells us the "why" of a momentous story every intelligent Briton ought to understand...cracking. - Andrew Marr, The Sunday Times

Brilliant. Easily surpasses any of the glut of books surrounding our constitutional upheaval of the last five years or so. - Kevin McKenna, The Observer

Never less than compelling ...Independence or Union is his best book to date, is required reading and a perfect example of why history matters. - Alan Taylor, The Herald

Surefooted, balanced and reliable in analysis throughout. - Colin Kidd, London Review of Books

The book offers a crisp and well-paced assessment of the Union... a thoroughly reasoned assessment - Donald MacRaild, Times Higher Education

Briskly, clearly and fairly he sketches a complex and detailed history, bringing new life and fresh perspectives to old stories... if he hadn't already been knighted for services to Scottish history, Devine would have been high on the list for preferment after this new work. - John McTernan, Prospect Magazine

Devine brings his usual acute historical critique to the question in hand. - Keith M. Brown, Times Literary Supplement

His aim was to write a history "with a commitment to impartiality, the use of representative evidence and the due respect for conflicting opinions." This he has done brilliantly. The success of the union is well sketched. As is Scotland's role in the British Empire-for good and ill, and the making and maintaining of a Scottish identity. - John McTernan, Prospect Magazine