We’ve asked Scotland’s leading writers, booksellers, festival directors and critics to pick one, or two, books — published this year or in the past — that they most enjoyed reading in 2017. There will be new selections every day until 21 December — so keep reading for great ideas about what to read next and visit your nearest high street bookshop to purchase your Christmas gifts! Tom Devine takes us forward on 5 December.
Sir Tom Devine, historian and author
In recent years the so-called ‘diaspora turn’ in Scottish historical studies has reaped a rich intellectual harvest as scholars have increasingly explored the centuries-old wanderings of the Scottish people. The historic movement to Europe in medieval and early modern times as well as the migrations across the rest of the world from the eighteenth century have attracted some excellent studies over the last two decades or so.They have helped to internationalise the history of a small nation and demonstrate its remarkable global reach and impact.
Global Migrations: The Scottish Diaspora since 1600, edited by Angela McCarthy and John M. Mackenzie (EUP, £19.99) is a new addition to the genre and one of the very best to date. Edited by two of the most eminent scholars in the field, who have ensured that the volume is accessible to a wide readership, the book explores a range of fascinating topics including slavery, cross-cultural encounters, economics, tourism, war and emigration since 1945.
One of the most pleasing aspects of the collection is that more than half of the contributors are from nine countries outside Scotland. Gone are the days when Scottish history was ignored by scholars elsewhere.
Sir Tom Devine is the author of Recovering Scotland’s Slavery Past