Scots Who Made America, by Rick Wilson
The first man on the moon was the son of a Scotsman and Uncle Sam himself came from Greenock
| 12 Nov 2006
Book title: Scots Who Made America,
Author: Rick Wilson
For those who thought Scotland's key exports were Haggis, Whiskey and See-You-Jimmy bunnets, prepare to be amazed at the Scottish blood flowing in the most iconic Americana. The dollar sign, baseball and television all have Scottish roots; the first man on the moon was the son of a Scotsman and Uncle Sam himself came from Greenock.
There is no refuting Wilson's thesis but it's difficult to read such gung-ho patriotism. "I wish to avoid the impression of 'wha's like us' chest-thumping," he writes, but what remains is a dilute, pedestrian Nationalism disguised as scholarship. It's interesting to read about Conan Doyle and Harry Lauder Ã¢Â€Â“ but only if you don't know anything about them already. The book has charm and it's nicely accessible but some of the entries are tenuous and one might mention a few omissions. Perhaps this is too cynical: the book is innocuous and amiable and will be enjoyed by dads across the nation [Rob Westwood]
Scots Who Made America is published by Birlinn. Out Now. List price Ã‚Â£7.99.