the book reviews
I can safely bet that you live in the "modern" world. We use things that yesterday seemed too fantastic to exist outside of science fiction; and we are hardly able to absorb new technologies. They increase exponentially, like a piece of dough pulled into millions of thin noodles by a Shanghai chef. We can repeat the handful of names that are credited with the invention of these miracles, as per our history books. Have you ever wondered, why the world turned modern and who were the people responsible for it? Just when did it start to happen? Depending on your place of education and level of education, you would answer these questions quite differently. Arthur Herman gives us his answers in his stimulating book, How The Scots Invented The Modern World. Oops, the title gives it away! Do not worry, reading this book is like encountering an old friend after many years of separation, and discovering that they are absolutely fascinating in ways you never dreamed of when you "knew" them. Mr. Herman holds a Ph,D. in history, and he has written a thoroughly researched book. His focus is as clear as a mountain stream. The book is readable, and is written with a master's skill. It is made enjoyable by the anecdotal passages. These are perfectly balanced with the historical information, the insights, the opinions, and the pure facts. The result is a book, that is more than the sum of its parts. You will learn about many people who permanently changed the planet you live on. You will meet others who have been hidden beneath the names of other men. You will encounter pioneers. In every conceivable field of study. Time and again, it was a Scot who did a great deed, or it was a Scot who was the teacher, tutor, mentor, or inspiration, of the man who did. You will learn who taught the founding ideals for the formation of America. You will see the large debt that Canada, England, and Australia owe to the Scottish intellect. You will see a definite pattern emerge from the book. New ideas are conceived, nurtured, and delivered. Anything that does not work properly, is simply re-invented. The areas of accomplishment include architecture, medicine, philosophy, engineering, all branches of science, education, politics, warfare, literature, commerce, manufacture, religion, and many more. The stage is every corner of our planet. All this came from Western Europe's poorest nation. A people with humor and common sense. It is very clear, that these people possess hungry minds that cannot be sated. They have learned to endure their empty stomachs. Their martial spirit, coupled with a brilliant intellect and a non-racist attitude, is the force that is driving the ship of modern civilization. Many of us were looking at the horizon and forgot to look into the engine room. Arthur Herman will give you a tour, and he will dispel the stereotypes and myths, of this Promethean branch of humanity.
Copyright © 2019 by Michael A. Hawes. All Rights Reserved.
Michael Hawes was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and lives in British Columbia.