It’s funny how I came to read this book over the Christmas holidays. I’d heard about the book years ago when it first came out and always thought it sounded interesting and I might read it someday (I also thought it was by the same guy who wrote How the Irish Saved Civilization, for obvious reasons of title parallelism, but it’s not). However, I never did get around to buying or borrowing a copy. During the Christmas holidays we were painting our upstairs hall and I moved a bookcase that hadn’t been moved in years. From out of the back of the bookcase fell a few books that had been shoved in there behind others, and one was a pristine, apparently unread copy of How the Scots Invented the Modern World. Obviously, at some point I did buy this book, or someone loaned or gave it to me, and then I promptly forgot that I had it.
Anyway, it was timely as I was looking for something to read just then, so I spent much of my holidays reading about the Scottish Enlightenment and a number of Scottish philosophers, inventors, entrepreneurs and educators who shaped the Western world far beyond the borders of Scotland, from the early 18th century onwards. Fascinating dip into history and an enjoyable read.