Caledonian Dreaming

Caledonian Dreaming


The Quest for a Different Scotland

Gerry Hassan

ISBN: 9781910021323

Binding: paperback

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Back cover text:

A different Scotland is possible.

Caledonian Dreaming: The Quest for a Different Scotland offers a penetrating and original way forward for Scotland beyond the current independence debate. It identifies the myths of modern Scotland, describes what they say and why they need to be seen as myths.

Hassan argues that Scotland is already changing, as traditional institutions and power decline and new forces emerge. He outlines a prospectus for Scotland to become more democratic and to embrace radical and far-reaching change.


Understanding that the old stories we tell ourselves influence the new stories we go on to write, Gerry Hassan has crafted a brilliant book unpacking the political narratives that have shaped modern Scotland in order to create a space to imagine anew. A book about Scotland important to anyone, anywhere, dreaming a new world.  Stephen Duncombe

With one bound Scotland could be free! How tempting that looks to the progressive-minded on both sides of the border. If only it were that easy. Gerry Hassan drills down to deeper reasons why the many dysfunctions of British democracy could dog an independent Scotland too. With a non-partisan but beady eye on society both sides of the border, in this clever book here are tougher questions to consider than a mere Yes/No.  Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

Table of contents:

Luve Poem
The Art of Growing Up: A Foreword by Fintan O’Toole

CHAPTER ONE: Scotland is Changing: A Nation in Transition
CHAPTER TWO: The Six Myths of Modern Scotland
CHAPTER THREE: The Personal is Political
CHAPTER FOUR: The Global Kingdom: Britain after the Bubble
CHAPTER FIVE: Back in the Old Country: The Power of the Past
CHAPTER SIX: Scotland is not a Democracy
CHAPTER SEVEN: The Rise and Fall of ‘Civic Scotland’
CHAPTER EIGHT: The Stories of Radical Scotland
CHAPTER NINE: A Different Kind of Politics is Possible: The Left, Laughter and Imagination
CHAPTER TEN: Now That’s What I Call the Eighties: Scotland and Thatcherism
CHAPTER ELEVEN: The Sounds of Silence: Thatcher, Blair and Understanding the Past
CHAPTER TWELVE: What went wrong with Professional Scotland?
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: The Emergence of ‘the Third Scotland’: Values, Voice and Vessels
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: A Scotland Beyond Labels and ‘the Official Story’
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: The Change We Can Become and the Power of Dreams
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: The Limits of Politics and the Potential of Scotland International Afterword: How to Make a New Democracy

Appendix: Some More Detailed Thoughts and Suggestions