When reading something so tendentious, it's hard not to look for the Heffalump; and I did catch him out in some at-best-dubious assertions. I could have believed that the Adam brothers improved classical architecture by adding servant's stairs, except that The Perfect House mentions servant's stairs in the Villa Cornaro and shows them on the floorplan. Later he explains the Jardine's forcing the opium trade into imperial China with the argument that "Britain had no drug problem" in 1827 (considered relevant because it put fault for Chinese opium addiction on Chinese weakness); I checked 's Opium . Booth confirmed widespread opium addiction among the poor of the Fens, for instance, who also needed opium as a medicine. Now, maybe Herman didn't know this, or maybe he thought all the use of opium in England was medicinal, but - from Opium -'s
When, in 1828, the earl of Mar died...his insurers refused to honour his life insurance, contending his [opium] habit affected his life expectancy. A few years later, a Professor Christiansen of Edinburgh concluded to a Scottish court that opium-eating shortened life.
Herman is familiar with the lives of other Earls of Mar, but this still might be sloppy scholarship accepting Jardine's rationalization; it isn't written clearly enough to tell if he was asserting that Jardine's rationalization was true. At least he didn't praise Prof. Christiansen immediately after admiring Jardine, the way he admired the Ulster Scots' armed land-grabs in the New World right after praising the innate Scots respect for private property.
A book asserting that Economic Sentiments for that. What Herman finally convinced me of was not that the Scots made the modern world, but that the British Empire used the Scots to make the modern world. Scotland was a whole nation of younger sons, willing to learn a new language, do the dirty engineering, fight some nasty battles, for a chance to earn a place in the center of civilization. Even Herman's brief summary of Scotland in the 20th century was of a poor and low-wage nation, the ignored 'good child' of England as Ireland is the harassed 'bad child'.begot the modern world would be plausible. (comment from my other half: "And Clausewitz!" I don't think there's any reason to consider Clausewitz Scots.) I'll try Rothschild's
Interesting tidbits; Highlanders fighting for Bonnie Prince Charlie
routed more-experienced, better-equipped troops more than once,
something to consider when reading pulp fiction battles between savages
with swords and troops with distance-weapons. They didn't win the war.
Later, when Sir Walter Scott was inventing cod-Highland pageantry to
amuse drunk king George IV, there was one group of real Highlanders
sent, bare survivors of the clearances. They were so scruffy and
frightening that they were shuffled away, fed scraps, not allowed to
So wrote clew in