For a generation, this book - intelligent, fair-minded and accurate - has been acclaimed as the definitive one-volume history of a great nation. It shows how Duncan (1034-40) emerged from 'the union of the four peoples' as the first king of a united Scotland and provides detailed, reign-by-reign accounts from then on. Close consideration is given to the Wars of Independence, the Reformation and religious struggles, the union of the crrowns under James VI and I, the 1707 Act of Union, the Jacobite risings and the 'reforms' of the Victorian era. Above all Professor Mackie reveals how the Scots long pursued an independent line - in religion, law, culture and foreign policy - that helped them keep at bay in turn the Romans, the French and the English. This second edition takes the story up to the political crisis of the 1970s - events that offered ample evidence both of Scotland's ability to adapt to the times and its 'continuing significance and vitality as a human community'.