Thursday, August 25, 2011

Last One - Tom Devine, To the Ends of the Earth & The Scotmsan


Today the Scotsman published its last in a series of articles by Tom Devine to promote his new book To the Ends of the Earth: Scotland's Global Diaspora, 1750-2010. This piece The Scots who left: Why America has a new found love for all things Scottish examines the increasing love Americans, especially in the South, have  shown for all things Scottish in the past 40 years. I'm not sure why so many of these articles focus on America (meaning the United States) as opposed to other parts of the world. Maybe because we are so noticeable when we ask, in our loud, flat American voices, which is "our" family's clan and which plaid is the right one.

I remember overhearing once that Devine was rather distressed over what North Americans do with their Scottish history and other historians countering that Scotland's past was theirs (meaning the North Americans) as much as it was ours (meaning the Scots). Having lived in Scotland and being a part of the diaspora myself (my grandfather's family came to the United States in 1924), I sympathize with both points of view.

Regarding tartans, I say pick the one with your favorite colors or one with a design that pleases you. I am partial to the Gordon, because it was my grandfather's favorite, and the Royal Stewart, because I like the how the cheery red background sets off the other colors. Regarding Devine's book, I will reserve further comment until I am able to read it for myself.

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