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Scottish HistoryThe Power of the Past$
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Edward J Cowan and Richard J Finlay

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780748614196

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748614196.001.0001

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Tomorrow's Ancestors: Nationalism, Identity and History*

Tomorrow's Ancestors: Nationalism, Identity and History*

(p.253) Chapter 12 Tomorrow's Ancestors: Nationalism, Identity and History*
Scottish History

David McCrone

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter provides a sociologist's perspective on the endless dialogue between the past and the present. The central theme is: getting history right or wrong takes second place to the power, the charge, of history. It is of interest that the great sixteenth-century Scottish historian and thinker George Buchanan believed that the purpose of history was ‘to restore us to our own ancestors and our own ancestors to us’, but, though he lived in a post-classical era, he was spared the doubts of his post-modern descendants.

Keywords:   sociology, past, present, Scottish history, George Buchanan

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