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The Fight for Scottish Democracy


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Table of Contents

1. 1820: Death on the Green
2. 1812: Overture
3. 1815: A Disputed Peace
4. 1816-17: Alarm
5. 1817: Repression
6. 1818-19: Fever
7. 1819: Peterloo
8. 1819: Radicals vs Loyalists
9. 1820: Underground
10. 1820: Address to the Inhabitants
11. 1820: Hostilities
12. 1820: Purge
13. 1820: Retribution
14. Retreat

About the Author

Murray Armstrong is former associate editor at the Guardian, where he worked for over twenty years. He is the author of The Liberty Tree: The Stirring Story of Thomas Muir and Scotland's First Fight for Democracy (2014).


'This quite excellent book, with its extremely comprehensive research, revelatory conception and lucid prose, has the welcome potency to finally dispel the long concocted myth that, compared to 18th century England, Scotland was inherently averse to radical creative or physical unrest'

-- Andrew Noble, Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow

'Intensely dramatic, impeccably detailed and narrated with literary flair, Armstrong brings to life the history of a powerful yet forgotten revolution'

-- Maxine Peake, Actress and Writer

'In his book on Thomas Muir, Armstrong vividly told the story of one of Scotland's greatest sons and the radical cause. Now he does the same for those involved in the 1820 rising. It's sadly a tale that's largely been untold. But this eloquently rights that wrong'

-- Kenny MacAskill, MP for East Lothian and former Cabinet Secretary for Justice

'Armstrong pulls off a masterful feat, colouring a world long gone with such vivid detail that you feel the hope, injustice and ruthless suppression of a great but unsung democratic uprising. Yet, even though the period is so powerfully re-imagined, there's no loss of historical accuracy or political drive in this excellent book'

-- Lesley Riddoch, author of 'Blossom: What Scotland Needs to Flourish'

'At a time when anachronistic discussions of Scottish nationalism are prevalent, Armstrong's book should prove to be an outstanding and timely contribution to literature on Scottish history on the 200th anniversary of the Radical War'

-- Neil Davidson, author of 'The Origins of Scottish Nationhood'

'The Fight for Scottish Democracy earns a vital place in remembering those who struggled at such tremendous personal risk for democratic rights now taken so unquestionably for granted'

-- Scottish Left Review

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