December 22, 2002January 19, 2003Meeting Report

January 3, 2003

Wayne Luney

Book Review and Discussion:
How the Scots Invented the Modern World

The focus of the meeting was a new book by Arthur Herman, How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe’s Poorest Nation Created our World and Everything in it.

Mr. Herman’s thesis is that the larger market provided by the Act of Union between England and Scotland in the early 18th century, the high value Scots gave to literacy, and the relative freedom of inquiry compared with earlier times contributed to the Scottish renaissance of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This in turn gave us the ideas of Adam Smith and David Hume and the inventions of James Watt. And that was only the tip of the iceberg. Much of what makes the modern world had its origins at that time and place.

Report prepared by Wayne Luney, HAGSA Recorder

Mr. Herman's book is available from or through for anything from $7.95 (paperback) to $22.71 (hardcover). (HAGSA receives no compensation for linking to

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