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Gordon Wilson - SNP : The Turbulent Years 1960-1990 (2nd Hand Paperback)

SKU B002401

Subtitled : A History of the Scottish National Party.

SNP: The Turbulent Years 1960-1990 by former party leader Gordon Wilson is perhaps the best account of the Scottish National Party to date. Lucidly written with balance, humour and an unfailing eye for detail, Wilson calls it a `personal history'. Thankfully, it is much more than that.

Beginning with the 1960's, Wilson charts the party's progress towards the breakthrough that was the Hamilton by-election in 1967, while his chapters on the 1974-79 Parliament - which remain shamefully under-examined - are perhaps the highlights of the volume. Wilson has made diligent use of the party's archive - not to mention fresh correspondence with former colleagues - currently held in the National Library of Scotland.

Valuable pen-portraits of the Nationalists' leading players punctuate the text. Margo MacDonald `was a charismatic personality who had under-played her professional family origins by adopting a broad Glaswegian patois'; Willie McRae was `a brilliant Glasgow lawyer with a colourful, larger than life personality and a huge capacity for spell-binding rhetoric'; while Donald Stewart was `one of life's individualists, socially conservative and surprisingly radical at times'.

Wilson does not overplay the `personal' aspect of his history, which is one of the book's many strengths. When he does, the result is refreshingly frank. `In the last two years of my stay in office,' he writes of a late 1960s bout in office, `partly as a response to fatigue, I became autocratic.' There's also a wry humour. `On 15 September 1979, my political luck ran out,' says Wilson. `I was elected Chairman of the Scottish National Party. It was not the inheritance I had hoped for.'

  • Format : Standard 2nd Hand Paperback
  • Condition : Very Good
  • Category : Non-Fiction - Politics & Government
  • Published : 2009 (Scots Independent Newspapers - With signature & inscription from the author)
  • ISBN : 9780951282076
  • SKU : B002401
  • PPC : LL500gm
  • RRP : Unknown
  • Quantity Available : 1 only.

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External Reviews

"This book isn't just for political anoraks, but for anyone who remembers the politics of the 1960's-90s'" - Google Review.

The Author

Robert Gordon Wilson (16 April 1938 - 25 June 2017) was a Scottish politician and solicitor. He was the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) from 1979 to 1990, and was SNP Member of Parliament (MP) for Dundee East from 1974 to 1987. He was Rector of the University of Dundee from 1983 to 1986.