How the Scots Invented the Modern World

How the Scots Invented the Modern World

The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It

Book - 2001
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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.
Publisher: New York : Three Rivers Press, 2001
ISBN: 9780609809990
Branch Call Number: 941.1 HER 2001
Characteristics: viii, 472 p

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8waya8
Apr 02, 2014

I can safely bet that you live in the "modern" world. We use things that yesterday seemed too fantastic to exist outside of science fiction; and we are hardly able to absorb new technologies. They increase exponentially, like a piece of dough pulled into millions of thin noodles by a Shanghai chef. We can repeat the handful of names that are credited with the invention of these miracles, as per our history books. Have you ever wondered, why the world turned modern and who were the people responsible for it? Just when did it start to happen? Depending on your place of education and level of education, you would answer these questions quite differently. Arthur Herman gives us his answers in his stimulating book, How The Scots Invented The Modern World. Oops, the title gives it away! Do not worry, reading this book is like encountering an old friend after many years of separation, and discovering that they are absolutely fascinating in ways you never dreamed of when you "knew" them. Mr. Herman holds a Ph,D. in history, and he has written a thoroughly researched book. His focus is as clear as a mountain stream. The book is readable, and is written with a master's skill. It is made enjoyable by the anecdotal passages. These are perfectly balanced with the historical information, the insights, the opinions, and the pure facts. The result is a book, that is more than the sum of its parts. You will learn about many people who permanently changed the planet you live on. You will meet others who have been hidden beneath the names of other men. You will encounter pioneers. In every conceivable field of study. Time and again, it was a Scot who did a great deed, or it was a Scot who was the teacher, tutor, mentor, or inspiration, of the man who did. You will learn who taught the founding ideals for the formation of America. You will see the large debt that Canada, England, and Australia owe to the Scottish intellect. You will see a definite pattern emerge from the book. New ideas are conceived, nurtured, and delivered. Anything that does not work properly, is simply re-invented. The areas of accomplishment include architecture, medicine, philosophy, engineering, all branches of science, education, politics, warfare, literature, commerce, manufacture, religion, and many more. The stage is every corner of our planet. All this came from Western Europe's poorest nation. A people with humor and common sense. It is very clear, that these people possess hungry minds that cannot be sated. They have learned to endure their empty stomachs. Their martial spirit, coupled with a brilliant intellect and a non-racist attitude, is the force that is driving the ship of modern civilization. Many of us were looking at the horizon and forgot to look into the engine room. Arthur Herman will give you a tour, and he will dispel the stereotypes and myths, of this Promethean branch of humanity.

i
IV27HUjg
Jan 18, 2014

Fun & fascinating read, especially for wee Scots. To think the Romans built a wall to keep away the wild men from the North, from the civilized South.

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8waya8
Apr 02, 2014

8waya8 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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