Ewen Cameron explores the political debate between unionism, liberalism, socialism and nationalism, and the changing political relationship between Scotland and the United Kingdom.
He sets Scottish experience alongside the Irish, Welsh and European, and considers British dimensions of historical change - involvement in two world wars, imperial growth and decline, for example - from a Scottish perspective.
He relates political events to trends and movements in the economy, culture and society of the nation's regions - borders, lowlands, highlands, and islands.
Underlying the history, and sometimes impelling its ambitions, are the evolution and growth of national self-confidence and identity which fundamentally affected Scotland's destiny in the last century.
Dr Cameron ends by considering how such forces may transform it in this one.
Like the period it describes this book has politics at its heart.
The recent upsurge of scholarship and publication, backed by the author's extensive primary research, underpin its vivid and well-paced narrative.