How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It

Finally we have a book that explains how the . . . Scots created the modern civilized values America and the Western world still uphold. This is a great book, one which is now even more relevant than ever.Michael Barone, U.S. News & World Report , coauthor of The Almanac of American Politics Arthur Herman provides a convincing and compelling argument. . . . He is a natural writer, weaving philosophical concerns seamlessly through a historical narrative that romps along at a cracking pace. Irvine Welsh, The Guardian Herman's book tells an exciting story with gusto . . . its range and narrative verve make it an entertaining and illuminating read. Sunday Times (London) A skeptic could easily be converted by Herman's deft presentation . . . this work sets a high academic standard yet is carefully leavened with colorful anecdotes. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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By Matthew (Severn, MD) · ★★★★★ · August 29, 2007
The first three quarters of this book are absolutely amazing, showing how the Scottish Enlightenment period essentially created all modern political and philosophical teachings in the modernized world.

The book goes in to wonderful historical detail about brilliant individuals who were the product... ...more
By Jake (Houston, TX) · ★★★★★ · January 05, 2012
To be completely honest, it's hard to find a better written book out there, regardless of the obviously hyperbolic title. This text was so fastidiously researched, so utterly fascinating, and so easy to read that I can't fathom another work that could do the job better. Herman backs up his incred... ...more
By Sarah (New York, NY) · ★★☆☆☆ · September 03, 2013
I was very disappointed by this. It's a solid and mildly entertaining book, but Herman's title and thesis are woefully inadequate. When he says "How the Scots Invented the Modern World" it is more like "How Scottish Men Made Great Contributions to the English-Speaking World." Any definition of th... ...more
By Bikewriter · ★★★★☆ · May 30, 2012
"How the Scots ..." is one of the most interesting non-fiction books I've read in a long time. "Huh? How," you ask, "can history be interesting?!" Not every author can make it interesting, for certain. But here's how to come up with such a winner, Arthur Herman-style:

1. Gather all the players, im... ...more
By Theresa Leone (Middletown, NJ) · ★★★★★ · April 09, 2012
The Scots did more for modern education, especially the idea that all people, regardless of race, gender or social or economic class, deserve one, and should have access to higher education. What they accomplished for the world in terms of education, as a teacher, is what I appreciated most about... ...more
By George (South Windsor, CT) · ★★★★☆ · June 28, 2010
This is a fine survey of Western history from the Scot point of view, starting in the late 1600's right up through the present. It filled in a number of gaps for me such as the battle of Culloden and the Opium wars, and what defines the Presbyterians (then, and now). Occasionally, the author seem... ...more
By John (Lutherville Timonium, MD) · ★★☆☆☆ · January 12, 2014
An unsatisfactory read. The author fails to define what he means by "the modern world", so anything that any Scot did can be thrown into the hopper. And his reasoning fails at a very basic level. If he says (to make up an example typical of how he looks at the subject), "By 1900 30% of Canadian... ...more
By Kelly (Marlborough, NH) · ★★★☆☆ · August 11, 2008
This is written in the same vein as Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization. I learned about Scottish history but really the entire world. From inventions to famous people, this book explores how Scotland and its citizens contributed to the modern (by what they did in the 1700 and 1800s) . It t... ...more