Author(s): T. Devine
'Deserves to be read by everyone interested in the future of the United Kingdom' Andrew Marr, The Sunday Times There can be no relationship in Europe's history more creative, significant, vexed and uneasy than that between Scotland and England. From the Middle Ages onwards the island of Britain has been shaped by the unique dynamic between Edinburgh and London, exchanging inhabitants, monarchs, money and ideas, sometimes in a spirit of friendship and at others in a spirit of murderous dislike. Tom Devine's seminal new book explores this extraordinary history in all its ambiguity, from the seventeenth century to the present. When not undermining each other with invading armies, both Scotland and England have broadly benefitted from each other's presence - indeed for long periods of time nobody questioned the union which joined them. But as Devine makes clear, it has for the most part been a relationship based on consent, not force, on mutual advantage, rather than antagonism - and it has always held the possibility of a political parting of the ways. With the United Kingdom under a level of scrutiny unmatched since the eighteenth century Independence or Union is the essential guide.
Deserves to be read by everyone interested in the future of the United Kingdom... this is analytical, synthetic, argumentative history at its best; it slays lazy myths and tells us the "why" of a momentous story every intelligent Briton ought to understand...cracking. -- Andrew Marr The Sunday Times Brilliant. Easily surpasses any of the glut of books surrounding our constitutional upheaval of the last five years or so. -- Kevin McKenna The Observer Never less than compelling ...Independence or Union is his best book to date, is required reading and a perfect example of why history matters. -- Alan Taylor The Herald Surefooted, balanced and reliable in analysis throughout. -- Colin Kidd London Review of Books The book offers a crisp and well-paced assessment of the Union... a thoroughly reasoned assessment -- Donald MacRaild Times Higher Education Briskly, clearly and fairly he sketches a complex and detailed history, bringing new life and fresh perspectives to old stories... if he hadn't already been knighted for services to Scottish history, Devine would have been high on the list for preferment after this new work. -- John McTernan Prospect Magazine Devine brings his usual acute historical critique to the question in hand. -- Keith M. Brown Times Literary Supplement
T. M. Devine has written three books for Penguin: The Scottish Nation, Scotland's Empire and To the Ends of the Earth. He is Sir William Fraser Professor Emeritus of Scottish History and Palaeography at the University of Edinburgh. In 2001 he was awarded the Royal Gold Medal and has won all three major prizes for Scottish historical research. He was knighted in 2014.