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It is only natural, Herman suggests, that a country that once ranked among Europe's poorest, if most literate, would prize the ideal of progress, measured "by how far we have come from where we once were." Forged in the Scottish Enlightenment, that ideal would inform the political theories of Francis Hutcheson, Adam Smith, and David Hume, and other Scottish thinkers who viewed "man as a product of history," and whose collective enterprise involved "nothing less than a massive reordering of human knowledge" (yielding, among other things, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, first published in Edinburgh in 1768, and the Declaration of Independence, published in Philadelphia just a few years later). On a more immediately practical front, but no less bound to that notion of progress, Scotland also fielded inventors, warriors, administrators, and diplomats such as Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, Simon MacTavish, and Charles James Napier, who created empires and great fortunes, extending Scotland's reach into every corner of the world.
Herman examines the lives and work of these and many more eminent Scots, capably defending his thesis and arguing, with both skill and good cheer, that the Scots "have by and large made the world a better place rather than a worse place." --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Arthur Herman’s How the Scots Invented the Modern World is an enjoyable, thought provoking and well-written book. Read morePublished 11 days ago by SockPuppet
This is a highly entertaining and informative book. Wanted to read before going to Scotland. I think this gives me a head start on their culture.Published 17 days ago by LSPalm
I'm not going to repeat everything else everyone has written about this book. I loved it. It's an incredible book. I recommend reading through it quickly, to get an overview. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bruce Oksol
one of my favorite books now. traces origins of some of our best ideas back to 17th and 18th century scotlandPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Certainly a unique perspective on the impact the Scots had on our modern society. One wonders if we are losing that in today's world. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Don
Yes, they did. And they have the best accents on the planet. And some of us wish we could go back and are trying not to resent David Cameron and his overly restrictive visa laws. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Wanderlust
There's an old saying that an Englishman who wanted to commit suicide out of despair that the Scots had invented everything of worth couldn't even do that because the Scots... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ellen Rosewall