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Lead book review

The impossibility of separating Scotland from Britain

A ‘global’ history of Scotland must, by its very nature, be one of Britain and Empire too, says Alex Massie

23 July 2022

9:00 AM

23 July 2022

9:00 AM

Scotland: The Global History – 1603 to the Present Murray Pittock

Yale University Press, pp.512, 25

Most histories of the United Kingdom fail to account for, or even acknowledge, just how unusual a country it is. One of the strengths of a history of Scotland within the United Kingdom is that it cannot avoid emphasising the sheer strangeness of Britain. It is a country quite unlike other European nations for it is, at heart, a composite state: a Union of four other nations creating a fifth which exists alongside – and sometimes above – its constituent parts.

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