John Maclean : Hero of Red Clydeside

Henry Bell
Pluto Press £14.99
by SRB

Books of the Year 2018 – A Literary Advent Calendar

December 1, 2018 | by SRB

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 2018. There will be new selections every day throughoutDecember — so keep reading for great ideas about what to read next and visit your nearest high street bookshop to purchase your Christmas gifts! Today’s selection is from Christopher Silver.

Henry Bell’s John Maclean: Hero of Red Clydeside is neither a work of hagiography nor dry archival tour, this is a bracing new account of the life of one of Scotland’s maverick political heroes. In a text alive with the voices of family, friendship and the city’s vast underclass, Bell looks beyond the “bonnie fechter” myth to the myriad outcasts – women, people of colour, Jews – who would bear Maclean company. This is a particularly welcome service for a contemporary Scottish political scene compelled to revise old certainties and think, once again, about its place in a world on fire.

Christopher Silver participated in the Emerging Critics Programme in 2017, and is a freelance writer and political commentator. Find out more about him on his website

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