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July 21, 2004

Top Scots

The Adam Smith Institute presents the ten greatest Scots of all time courtesy of Mr. John Blundell, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Of course, there are infinite criteria on which one might base such a list, but since this is my list, I have chosen the following: those writers and thinkers who have contributed most to our appreciation of human nature, our understanding of society and, of course, our ongoing quest to live in freedom.

That is an important caveat. Otherwise, I would have added James Watt, Alexander Graham Bell and John Logie Baird. Oh, and Sean Connery. But as Mr. Blundell points out we have to cut off the list somewhere. We are dealing with a nation of over-achievers here.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 21, 2004 08:26 AM

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I would include John Buchan (well, maybe not in the top-ten, but certainly as an Honorable Mention). The creator of the espionage thriller in its modern form, one of the final exemplars of the Victorian classical-liberal civilization, and Governer-General of Canada right before the Second World War. This may not look important, but Buchan (as Lord Tweedsmuir) played an essential role as go-between and liason, in the necessary conspiracy which formed the "Anglosphere alliance" between the British Commonwealth and the U.S.

Posted by: Demetrius at July 22, 2004 10:22 AM