Stone Voices: The Search for Scotland

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Macmillan, May 12, 2004 - History - 336 pages
5 Reviews
The rediscovery of Scotland’s past and a wake-up call about its future, from a leading scholar-journalist

Scotland has a new Parliament and it has North Sea oil, but is it yet an independent, self-sustaining democracy? Is it a true nation? In Stone Voices, Neal Ascherson launches what he calls an imaginative invasion of his native land, searching for the relationships, themes, and fantasies that make up “Scotland.”

Beginning with a breathtaking portrait of the country’s landscape, and of the way humanity has indelibly marked even its rockiest contours, Ascherson takes us on a journey through Scotland’s past, interweaving his historical accounts with a rollicking report on a back-country bus expedition he joined during the 1997 referendum campaign that led to Scotland’s first modern Parliament. He asked voters then what kind of country they hoped for, what they feared, and what they expected—questions that animate his book as well.

In his search for a nation, Acherson explores many themes: the slow, hybrid formation of the Scottish people over centuries of successive immigrations; the way their most renowned intellectuals and writers came to hate the national church; the peculiar nature of their diaspora; the coexistence of their search for an “authentic” Scotland with the myths others create; and the Scots’ proud sense of true independence. Stone Voices enlightens us about Scotland, about Europe, and about the conditions for freedom that we must all seek today.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - John_Vaughan - LibraryThing

Another eminently readable work by this author, this time returning to his own homeland, Scotland, whose history, Ascherson says is like a ”huge, reeking tip of unsorted rubbish across which ... Read full review

Review: Stone Voices: The Search for Scotland

User Review  - Goodreads

This was a sort of combination of history and anthropology. The author spends time on the history of Scotland, but also on what makes things "Scottish." I thought it was an enjoyable account of the ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
25
Section 3
36
Section 4
54
Section 5
77
Section 6
88
Section 7
115
Section 8
127
Section 11
172
Section 12
199
Section 13
216
Section 14
231
Section 15
262
Section 16
275
Section 17
292
Section 18
307

Section 9
144
Section 10
163

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About the author (2004)

Neal Ascherson writes for The Independent in London and The New York Review of Books. His books include Black Sea (H&W, 1995) and The Struggles for Poland. He lives in London.

Bibliographic information