Cover image for A century of the Scottish people, 1830-1950
Title:
A century of the Scottish people, 1830-1950
Author:
Smout, T. C. (T. Christopher)
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, [1986]

©1986
Physical Description:
xiv, 318 pages, 36 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780300037746
Format :
Book

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DA815 .S66 1986 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The 120 years covered in this companion work to Smout's acclaimed History of the Scottish People 1560-1830 (Booklist 67:128 O 1 70) provide a telling study in contrasts. The period saw major changes in Scottish life: the rise and fall of the coal, steel, and shipbuilding industries in Clydeside paralleled the decay of such cities as Glasgow into tenement-dominated squalor. Similarly, as the Highlands became the exclusive property of gentleman farmers and sportsmen, the crofters and their cottage industries gradually disappeared. Smout views the country's low standard of living, witnessed in falling per-capita income, as providing the impetus for the rise of trade unionism and socialist idealism in urban areas. He also exposes the myth of Edinburgh as the ``Athens of the North,'' criticizing the polarization of the capital city between sprawling council estates and trendy ``New Town'' flats. Smout is often controversial, but his view of Scottish history is both informed and lively. Notes, bibliography, and index. PLR. 941.108 Scotland History 19th century [OCLC] 86-40220


Choice Review

A valuable sequel to his indispensable A History of the Scottish People, 15601830 (CH, Sep '70), Smout's study concentrates on the Scottish rural poor and industrial working class. He examines other features in Scottish society-in particular, rural population trends; drink, the temperance movement, and popular entertainment (mainly soccer); sexual and marital customs; churchgoing; and education. These topics are generally discussed in the context of their relationship to the rural poor and the industrial working class. Although 19th-century Scotland produced immense wealth, Smout argues that her consumer base was too poor to share adequately in the material rewards of industrial growth. After tracing the considerable impact of the Scottish radical political and socialist movements, Smout argues that the ultimate effect of these in Scotland was acceptance of the Attlee government's faith in rule by the (often distant) expert. Although material conditions in Scotland have certainly improved since WW II, Smout laments the demise of the earlier radicals' and socialists' belief that the people themselves could determine their future. This is a model of historical scholarship, academically sound yet lucidly written. A must for all college, university, and public libraries.-C.L. Hamilton, Simon Fraser University