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5 June 1980
The State of the Scottish Working Class in 1843 
by Ian Levitt and Christopher Smout.
Scottish Academic Press, 284 pp., £7.50, December 1979, 0 7073 0247 1
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... Science Research Council, have analysed the replies with the aid of the SPSS computer programme and mapped the results. They have then set out to display and discuss the total picture. Proffessor Smout’s is the most original and creative mind at work on Scottish social history, and the discussion has depth and perception as well as human warmth. The report, broken down by modern methods, has made ...
25 July 1991
The Cambridge Social History of Britain, 1750-1950. Vol I.: Regions and Communities 
edited by F.M.L. Thompson.
Cambridge, 608 pp., June 1990, 0 521 25788 3
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The Cambridge Social History of Britain, 1750-1950. Vol II.: People and Their Environment 
edited by F.M.L. Thompson.
Cambridge, 392 pp., June 1990, 0 521 25789 1
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The Temper of the Times: British Society since World War Two 
by Bill Williamson.
Blackwell, 308 pp., £30, August 1990, 0 631 15919 3
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... Mitchison, is ‘unmistakably the food of a poor nation’. In the same brisk tone she traces the distinctive features of the economic, political and religious history of Scotland up to 1850. For ChristopherSmout the subsequent history of Scotland is marked by a decisive break at the end of the First World War. ‘Before that,’ he writes, ‘all was confidence and the expectation of further enrichment ...

Homage to Braudel

Geoffrey Parker

4 September 1980
Civilisation matérielle, économie et capitalisme, XVe – XVIIIe siécle 
by Fernand Braudel.
Armand Colin, 544 pp.
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... one work by each of the last three is mentioned. Matters concerning England are treated in much the same way (Scotland, paradoxically, is well covered, thanks to Braudel’s reliance on the work of ChristopherSmout; Ireland is largely ignored). To be sure, the standard general works have been thoroughly used – Ashton, Gras, Mathias and the rest; so have some major studies on important sectors of ...
26 July 1990
Scottish Society 1500-1800 
edited by R.A. Houston and I.D. Whyte.
Cambridge, 298 pp., £30, February 1989, 0 521 32522 6
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... historical ideas and techniques developed further south or by seeking to share insights to advance a truly ‘British’ history. Within Scotland, at least, much has changed in the past two decades. ChristopherSmout’s History of the Scottish People, 1560-1830, published in 1972, was pioneering social history, and much of Professor Smout’s subsequent work on religion, literacy and the economy in ...
9 April 1992
... wartime pressures, and a marginalisation of the Scots’ interpretations of their own past. Even when Scots history ‘broke through’ it seemed largely thanks to the jolt given by the work of Chris Smout and Harry Hanham: a Cambridge Liberal and a New Zealander. Part of the problem was the shattered nature of Scottish historical explanation, alternately cosmic and dwarfish: emblematic in the ...

The money’s still out there

Neal Ascherson: The Scottish Empire

6 October 2011
To the Ends of the Earth: Scotland’s Global Diaspora, 1750-2010 
by T.M. Devine.
Allen Lane, 397 pp., £25, August 2011, 978 0 7139 9744 6
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The Inner Life of Empires: An 18th-Century History 
by Emma Rothschild.
Princeton, 483 pp., £24.95, June 2011, 978 0 691 14895 3
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... in 1980. By then, however, Scotland’s cultural and political revival was already underway. Synoptic histories, serious but highly readable, were reappearing as Ash wrote: Rosalind Mitchison, T.C. Smout and Christopher Harvie were among the most successful authors. They wrote mostly narrative or social history, revealing unknown territory to generations who had learned almost nothing of Scotland’s ...

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