The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World and Ever ything in It
Author: Arthur Herman
Publisher: Broadway Books
An exciting account of the origins of the modern world Who formed the first literate society? Who invented our modern ideas of democracy and free market capitalism? The Scots. As historian and author Arthur Herman reveals, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Scotland made crucial contributions to science, philosophy, literature, education, medicine, commerce, and politics—contributions that have formed and nurtured the modern West ever since. Herman has charted a fascinating journey across the centuries of Scottish history. Here is the untold story of how John Knox and the Church of Scotland laid the foundation for our modern idea of democracy; how the Scottish Enlightenment helped to inspire both the American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution; and how thousands of Scottish immigrants left their homes to create the American frontier, the Australian outback, and the British Empire in India and Hong Kong. How the Scots Invented the Modern World reveals how Scottish genius for creating the basic ideas and institutions of modern life stamped the lives of a series of remarkable historical figures, from James Watt and Adam Smith to Andrew Carnegie and Arthur Conan Doyle, and how Scottish heroes continue to inspire our contemporary culture, from William “Braveheart” Wallace to James Bond. And no one who takes this incredible historical trek will ever view the Scots—or the modern West—in the same way again.
Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Ireland, and America
Author: Richard B. Sher
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Literary Criticism
The late eighteenth century witnessed an explosion of intellectual activity in Scotland by such luminaries as David Hume, Adam Smith, Hugh Blair, William Robertson, Adam Ferguson, James Boswell, and Robert Burns. And the books written by these seminal thinkers made a significant mark during their time in almost every field of polite literature and higher learning throughout Britain, Europe, and the Americas. In this magisterial history, Richard B. Sher breaks new ground for our understanding of the Enlightenment and the forgotten role of publishing during that period. The Enlightenment and the Book seeks to remedy the common misperception that such classics as The Wealth of Nations and The Life of Samuel Johnson were written by authors who eyed their publishers as minor functionaries in their profession. To the contrary, Sher shows how the process of bookmaking during the late eighteenth-century involved a deeply complex partnership between authors and their publishers, one in which writers saw the book industry not only as pivotal in the dissemination of their ideas, but also as crucial to their dreams of fame and monetary gain. Similarly, Sher demonstrates that publishers were involved in the project of bookmaking in order to advance human knowledge as well as to accumulate profits. The Enlightenment and the Book explores this tension between creativity and commerce that still exists in scholarly publishing today. Lavishly illustrated and elegantly conceived, it will be must reading for anyone interested in the history of the book or the production and diffusion of Enlightenment thought.
'Thaim wi a guid Scots tongue in their heid are fit tae gang ower the warld' In The Scottish World, renowned broadcaster Billy Kay takes us on a global journey of discovery, highlighting the extraordinary influence the Scots have had on communities and cultures on almost every continent. While others have questioned the self-confidence of the Scots, Kay has travelled the world from Bangkok to Brazil, Warsaw to Waikiki and found ringing endorsements for the integrity and intellect, the poetry and passion of the Scottish people in every country he has visited. He expands people's view of Scotland by relating remarkable stories of the wealthy Scottish merchant community in Gdansk; of national geniuses of Scots descent, such as Lermontov in Russia and Grieg in Norway; of an American Civil War blamed on Sir Walter Scott and initiated in the St Andrew's Society of Charleston; of inspirational missionaries in Calabar and Budapest; of Scotch professors establishing football in soccer strongholds such as Barcelona and São Paulo; of pioneers like Sandeman and Cockburn, and the Scottish roots of many of the great wines of Europe; and of their amazing involvement in liberation movements in Malawi, Chile, Peru, Greece, Corsica and India. The Scottish World is a celebration of the enormous contribution the Scots have made to the modern world.
To Rule the Waves tells the extraordinary story of how the British Royal Navy allowed one nation to rise to a level of power unprecedented in history. From the navy's beginnings under Henry VIII to the age of computer warfare and special ops, historian Arthur Herman tells the spellbinding tale of great battles at sea, heroic sailors, violent conflict, and personal tragedy -- of the way one mighty institution forged a nation, an empire, and a new world. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
Canadians of Scottish descent, who today total over 4.7 million, have never made up more than 16 per cent of Canada’s population. Yet they have supplied thirteen of twenty-two Canadian prime ministers, and have made proportionate contributions in exploration, education, banking, military service, railroading, invention, literature, you name it. Award-winning author Ken McGoogan has written a vivid, sweeping narrative showcasing more than sixty Scots who have shaped Canada. They include fur traders Alexander Mackenzie and the “Scotch West-Indian” James Douglas, who established national boundaries; politicians John A. Macdonald and Nellie McClung, who created a system of government; and visionaries Tommy Douglas, James Houston, Doris Anderson and Marshall McLuhan, who turned Canada into a complex nation that celebrates diversity. McGoogan toasts Robbie Burns, recalls the first settlers to wade ashore at Pictou, Nova Scotia, and celebrates such hybrid figures as the Cherokee Scot John Norton and Cuthbert Grant, father of the Métis nation. In How the Scots Invented Canada, Ken McGoogan uncovers the Scottish history of a nation-building miracle.
Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization
Author: Arthur Herman
Publisher: Random House
Arthur Herman has now written the definitive sequel to his New York Times bestseller, How the Scots Invented the Modern World, and extends the themes of the book—which sold half a million copies worldwide—back to the ancient Greeks and forward to the age of the Internet. The Cave and the Light is a magisterial account of how the two greatest thinkers of the ancient world, Plato and Aristotle, laid the foundations of Western culture—and how their rivalry shaped the essential features of our culture down to the present day. Plato came from a wealthy, connected Athenian family and lived a comfortable upper-class lifestyle until he met an odd little man named Socrates, who showed him a new world of ideas and ideals. Socrates taught Plato that a man must use reason to attain wisdom, and that the life of a lover of wisdom, a philosopher, was the pinnacle of achievement. Plato dedicated himself to living that ideal and went on to create a school, his famed Academy, to teach others the path to enlightenment through contemplation. However, the same Academy that spread Plato’s teachings also fostered his greatest rival. Born to a family of Greek physicians, Aristotle had learned early on the value of observation and hands-on experience. Rather than rely on pure contemplation, he insisted that the truest path to knowledge is through empirical discovery and exploration of the world around us. Aristotle, Plato’s most brilliant pupil, thus settled on a philosophy very different from his instructor’s and launched a rivalry with profound effects on Western culture. The two men disagreed on the fundamental purpose of the philosophy. For Plato, the image of the cave summed up man’s destined path, emerging from the darkness of material existence to the light of a higher and more spiritual truth. Aristotle thought otherwise. Instead of rising above mundane reality, he insisted, the philosopher’s job is to explain how the real world works, and how we can find our place in it. Aristotle set up a school in Athens to rival Plato’s Academy: the Lyceum. The competition that ensued between the two schools, and between Plato and Aristotle, set the world on an intellectual adventure that lasted through the Middle Ages and Renaissance and that still continues today. From Martin Luther (who named Aristotle the third great enemy of true religion, after the devil and the Pope) to Karl Marx (whose utopian views rival Plato’s), heroes and villains of history have been inspired and incensed by these two master philosophers—but never outside their influence. Accessible, riveting, and eloquently written, The Cave and the Light provides a stunning new perspective on the Western world, certain to open eyes and stir debate. Praise for The Cave and the Light “A sweeping intellectual history viewed through two ancient Greek lenses . . . breezy and enthusiastic but resting on a sturdy rock of research.”—Kirkus Reviews “Examining mathematics, politics, theology, and architecture, the book demonstrates the continuing relevance of the ancient world.”—Publishers Weekly “A fabulous way to understand over two millennia of history, all in one book.”—Library Journal “Entertaining and often illuminating.”—The Wall Street Journal From the Hardcover edition.