Finlay Young,Simon Akam

Scotsman Englishman

In the summer of 2014 Scotland stood on the brink of an historic independence referendum and a vote that could have brought an end to the union between England and Scotland that had lasted since 1707. As the debate intensified, two experienced Newsweek correspondents — one Scottish, one English — who had both covered independence stories in Africa travelled the length of England and Scotland together. En route they tried to get to the bottom of the debate, interviewing politicians, writers, artists, activists and "ordinary" citizens. In their searching, sometimes intense, sometimes humorous conversations, they examined class, inequality, nationhood, politics, philosophy and economics, recording their impressions in a series of video diaries and a magazine article. This book is a much longer, more detailed account of the highs and lows of their journey. As they travelled for two weeks in a very small car they discovered that when looking at national identity with such intensity and at such close quarters the political became the personal, with surprising consequences. Scotsman Englishman entwines two quite different perspectives on the complex relationship between two nations, As a result of remarkable candour from both writers, it’s also the story of a friendship under pressure. An apt, and sometimes poignant metaphor for the referendum campaign of summer 2014.
89 printed pages
Original publication


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