New research reassessing Scotland’s influence on the modern world has been launched at the Edinburgh Book Festival.
The pre-eminent Historian, Professor Tom Devine, Director of the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies at the University charted the story of the Scots at home and abroad over the last three centuries in his latest book To The Ends of the Earth.
At an event attended by the Scottish Minister for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hislop, Professor Devine explored the epic story of the Scots émigrés, and their remarkable impact worldwide.
He touched not only on such old colonial territories as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, but on nations outside the 19th-century empire, including the United States, Japan and parts of Latin America.
The event was chaired by broadcaster Sheena Macdonald.
For hundreds of years Scots have settled across the globe, from North America to Asia, to Africa, Scandinavia and elsewhere.Their contribution in fields such as education, science, finance, engineering and many, many others besides has been immense. They have helped create the positive reputation Scotland has enjoyed internationally, and there are now an estimated 50 million people around the world with Scottish ancestry.The impact of the Scottish diaspora has been huge, and continues to the present day, with an estimated one million people born in Scotland currently living elsewhere and continuing to leave their distinctive mark across the world like the trailblazers before them. As Professor Devine examines in his new book, successive waves of emigration have affected this country too, sometimes in ways we are only beginning to appreciate. That greater understanding that Tom Devine brings to the subject gives us a fresh perspective on a key component of Scotland's history and national identity.
Professor Devine is the author and editor of over 34 books, including the bestselling The Scottish Nation, 1700-2000, which outsold the Harry Potter books in Scotland for a few weeks, when it was published in paperback in 2000.
He currently holds the post of the Sir William Fraser Professor of Scottish History and Palaeography.
To The Ends of the Earth - Scotland's Global Diaspora 1750-2010 by T.M Devine is published by Allen Lane.