|The Early Days of a Better Nation|
Monday, February 17, 2020
Democratic Left Scotland, n.d. (2018)
Neal Ascherson, the subject Tom Nairn, and the painter, Sandy Moffat.
It has already been reviewed, briefly and enthusiastically by Davie Laing, and lengthily and discursively by Rory Scothorne. There's no need for me to review it here, inevitable quibbles though I may have – I can only recommend it, as a small piece of history, and a useful summary of an argument that is still influencing that history.
The title, apt as the pun on 'painting' no doubt was for the occasion, does less than justice to the content: a concise intellectual biography of Nairn by the journalist who did a great deal to make his ideas part of common sense. Ascherson saw Scotland in an international context provided by his own wide-ranging life; Nairn's intellectual formation was likewise cosmopolitan; and for both Scotland was key to dismantling the 'archaic' structures of the British state.
The pamphlet can be obtained by sending a cheque for £4 (10% discount for orders of 10 or more) to:
Democratic Left Scotland,
9 MacAulay Street, Dundee DD3 6JT
If the archaic structures of 'cheque' and 'post' are too constraining, you can always enquire of the publisher by telephony and the interwebs:
Telephone 07826 488492
Email stuartfairweather [at] ymail [dot] com