Publications

Ironstone 3 – a review

Ironstone 3 – a review

Ironstone 3, a collection of writing from West Lothian, has hit the shelves.  The production is professional.  The art work is a pleasure itself.  Much of the writing is excellent. Unfortunately the distribution was less effective.  Two of the identified local retail points were without copies for […]

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Review: Why Do We Kill? The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore

Review: Why Do We Kill? The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore

Kelvin Sewell was Baltimore police officer for 22 years.  An African-American in a predominantly (64%) African-American city, he served in homicide, narcotics and internal affairs.  Stephen Janis is an investigative journalist.  Together they have written Why Do We Kill? The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore (Baltimore True […]

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From the Chalkface: Lessons from England

  Scotland traditionally guards its educational autonomy but developments south of the border frequently influence thinking here, sometimes positively.  We need to watch English developments.  One innovation which requires monitoring is the JCB Academy in Rocester, Shropshire. The JCB-sponsored, £22m, non-selective, co-educational, vocational academy focuses on engineering […]

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For the love of English

For the love of English

For the love of English Given the Scottish government’s emphasis on literacy it is no surprise that the recent debate on Excellence in English was a lively event. Chaired by Marc Lambert of the Scottish Book Trust, the panellists – Lisa Sorbie of Perth High School, Yvonne […]

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Proof that a truly outstanding teacher is never forgotten

Proof that a truly outstanding teacher is never forgotten

Proof that a truly outstanding teacher is never forgotten A memoir of school life in the Sixties and Seventies testifies that some things never change Exactly two years ago my TESS column analysed Janice Galloway’s portrayal of childhood and primary school in her then newly-published memoir, This […]

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A Time of Tyrants, Scotland and the Second World War

A Time of Tyrants, Scotland and the Second World War

            Trevor Royle’s – A Time of Tyrants, Scotland and the Second World War (Birlinn, £25.00) starts symbolically with the Empire Exhibition in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, in 1938. Glasgow perceived itself as ‘the second city of the Empire’ and with some legitimacy…..   The […]

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How a visit to America has deepened my understanding of Scotland

How a visit to America has deepened my understanding of Scotland

How a visit to America has deepened my understanding of Scotland I’ve recently returned from the United States. My thoughts were often on Scotland: in part it was my holiday reading. Alan Bissett’s ‘Pack Men’, his exploration of sexuality, sectarianism and football in contemporary Scotland, also examined […]

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Speak and spell oh so well

  Speak and spell oh so well It’s hard to credit that Lynne Truss’s rallying cry for punctuation, Eats, Shoots and Leaves, is now eight years old. At last, with Clare Dignall’s Can You Eat, Shoot & Leave?, a serious (and seriously funny) sequel has hit the […]

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The Scots politician with too many principles to be a Soviet spy

The Scots politician with too many principles to be a Soviet spy

 The Scots politician with too many principles to be a Soviet spy He defines himself as ‘awkward’, and revels in the description. He was one of the best known and most effective of back-bench MPs, yet Tam Dalyell is one of the hardest of politicians to fathom. […]

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That fighting spirit

That fighting spirit

    That fighting spirit Edinburgh has always been a divided city. Just under a quarter – 24% – of the city’s secondary school pupils are educated in private schools compared to 7% in the UK and 4% in Scotland. Never Give Up, a new book produced […]

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