The Firth of the Forth: An Environmental History
T.C. Smout and Mairi Stewart
An outstanding piece of work. Not only rigorous in terms of its research base, but lucid and passionately written. It is a model of how history should be written if it is to engage with the wider public. The range of subjects covered is wide, yet they are seamlessly interwoven. But above all there is the freshness of the topics – oyster wars for example, the vexed history of seal killing and culling and the consequences of repeated over-fishing. Arresting too is the profundity of the findings; the quite incredible impact human beings have had on the marine environment over the past two centuries in particular – the post-1800 Anthropocene era. But there is sharp insight too and pithy comment in a book that has been well-designed and beautifully produced.