Published by Luath Press, 2013
After more than 300 years of union with its larger and wealthier neighbour, Scotland has the opportunity to be independent. It is a chance that well-known Scottish cultural and political commentator Paul Henderson Scott firmly believes should be taken. In Scotland: A Creative Past, An Independent Future, he looks to Scotland’s vibrant literary and cultural heritage to envisage an independent nation. Revisiting aspects of Scotland’s political and cultural past, from the Union of 1707 to literary figures including Robert Louis Stevenson and Alasdair Gray, this is a passionate and eloquent exploration of Scotland’s past, and its potential future – a future where national confidence, culture and identity can flourish. Scott’s provocative book persuasively argues the case for Independence, considering a variety of topics, both historic and current, cultural and political. But in every case, the benefits of Independence are clear. Scotland has the opportunity to become more confident, prosperous and contented – an opportunity that even the most sceptical reader will be persuaded that they should take.
Paul Henderson Scott was born in Edinburgh and educated at the Royal High School and Edinburgh University. After service in the 1939-45 war, he became a diplomat. He was in 52nd (Lowland) and 7th Armed Divisions during the war and then joined the Diplomatic Service. He was in Berlin during the whole of the Soviet blockade and in Cuba during the Missile Crisis. He retired and returned to Edinburgh in 1980. Since then he has been Rector of Dundee University, Convener of the Advisory Council for the Arts in Scotland, President of the Saltire Society and Vice-President of the SNP. He has been President of Scottish PEN from 1992 to 1997. He has written many books. Among these Walter Scott and Scotland, John Galt, Towards Independence, Andrew Fletcher and the Treaty of Union, Still in Bed with an Elephant, Defoe in Edinburgh and Other Papers, The Boasted Advantages, A Twentieth Century Life (his autobiography), Scotland Resurgent, The Union of 1707: Why and How, The Age of Liberation and lately Scotland: A Creative Past, and Independent Future (2012). He also edited 12 books and contributed to 14.