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Frontier Scots. The Scots Who Won The West

by Jenni Calder.

During the 19th century, thousands of Scots crossed the Atlantic to start a new life in America. Initially settling on the east coast, many soon ventured west into the unexplored frontier. Seeking their fortune in gold, cattle or farming, these Scots — heroes and abusers, lawmakers and lawbreakers — braved harsh living conditions, hostile environments and difficult journeys over vast distances to shape American history and the frontier legacy. Frontier Scots tells the real stories of the men and women who conquered the Wild West and how they faced conflict, disease, desperation and political pressures...and finally built lasting communities among strangers far from home.

Dynasty of Engineers. The Stevensons and the Bell Rock

by Roland Paxton.

In addition to providing biographies of the eight members of the Stevenson family who, over five generations from 1786 to 1952, contributed significantly to the Scotland's infrastructure and international lighthouse engineering, Dynasty of Engineers also sheds new light on the design and construction of the Bell Rock, the world's oldest continuously operational rock lighthouse which sits 11 miles off the east coast of Scotland near Arbroath. Professor Roland Paxton reveals how this marvel of lighthouse engineering was essentially a masterpiece of joint achievement by John Rennie and Robert Stevenson in the best tradition of the chief engineer/resident engineer relationship, while finally laying to rest the well known and often bitter 19th-century dispute between their respective families over who "built" the iconic structure. The final part of the book is a reminder that the Stevenson inheritance lives on, with an up-to-date list of lighthouses the family were responsible for in Scotland and the Isle of Man. Virtually all of these are still operating. This book will be a must for all lighthouse enthusiasts and a fascinating story for anyone with an interest in the history of engineering and matters of the sea.

Aberdeen Beyond The Granite

by Ian R. Mitchell.

Ian R. Mitchell recognizes his hometown is an often-unappreciated place, but in Aberdeen Beyond The Granite he sets out an overwhelming case why this sentiment is thoroughly undeserved. An Aberdonian, born and bred, Mitchell has lived in Glasgow for almost four decades. Returning to his roots, he delves into Aberdeen's rich and often unseen history and culture from an exile's perspective, revealing a proudly unique city, home to the world's oldest surviving company, the U.K.'s oldest newspaper, and perhaps Britain's oldest Italian restaurant!


Full reviews of these books are available in the Summer 2011 issue of Scottish Life.

Previously Reviewed Books