- 'In a scholarly and affectionate book, Bob Purdie makes a good fist of trying to rehabilitate MacDiarmid's nationalist vision and giving it a semblance of coherence. This is the first work on MacDiarmid to concentrate on his politics and deserves to be read for that reason alone. ...Correctly, Purdie dismisses the absurd calumny that MacDiarmid was a proto-fascist, though like many left-wing intellectuals in the early 1920s he was attracted to the notion of marrying socialism to nationalism...as Purdie shows, MacDiarmid was a utopian rather than a practical politician - a visionary who saw a new Scotland being forged through culture rather than party.
George Kerevan, The Scotsman
'Hugh MacDiarmid aye-an-on casts a giant sheddae ower the Scottish leeterary laundscape. Sae this new buik o Bob Purdie's is a walcome addition tae the cairn o warks written anent the great man.'
Rab Wilson, Lallans 82 (2013)
'MacDiarmid ... valued honesty and wisdom and would have saluted them in Bob Purdie ... [his book] would also have won MacDiarmid's heart for its pace, its wit, its clarity and its entertainment.'
Owen Dudley Edwards
'Bob Purdie has analysed Hugh MacDiarmid's politics in this important new book. As the sage said, politics is 'Bairns' play' compared to poetry - but essential to get right.'
Professor Christopher Harvie
'shows convincingly that the most substantial and enduring of MacDiarmid's political convictions were two contradictory ideas, communism and Scottish nationalism. On the first of these his ideas were widely different from those of the British party and he allowed his membership of the SNP to lapse, but he was always strongly in favour of Scottish independence.'
Paul Henderson Scott, Scottish Review
Essential reading for all those with an interest in contemporary Scotland, this is the first study of Hugh MacDiarmid (1892-1978) by a political historian and provides a unique contribution to the understanding of MacDiarmid's politics.
Written just before the Scottish Independence referendum of 2014, this very timely study outlines why MacDiarmid, the most important literary figure of twentieth century Scotland, believed that the Scottish culture of his day was making the nation satisfied with its subordinate status within the UK, and why he strove for a self-reliant and independent European nation
In this book Bob Purdie explains why MacDiarmid was a man in constant revolt, against what he viewed as a stiflingly narrow Scottish culture, against all that was provincial and philistine in Scottish society and against Scotland's dependency on England.
Black - MacDiarmid and Fascism
Green - MacDiarmid and Social Credit
Tartan - MacDiarmid and Scottish Nationalism
Red - MacDiarmid and Communism
Red & Tartan - MacDiarmid, Communist and Nationalist
Dr. Bob Purdie: was an Honorary Research Fellow in the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen.