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Who formed the first literate society? Who invented our modern ideas of democracy and free market capitalism? The Scots. As historian and author Arthur Herman reveals, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Scotland made crucial contributions to science, philosophy, literature, education, medicine, commerce, and politics—contributions that have formed and nurtured the modern West ever since. This book is not just about Scotland: it is an exciting account of the origins of the modern world. No one who takes this incredible historical trek will ever view the Scots—or the modern West—in the same way again.
“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)