The aim of this book is to place developments in the region of West Dunbartonshire, that is, the area covered by Clydebank, Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven running up to the southern end of Loch Lomond, in the context of the larger national - and indeed international - historical developments to which they contribute and which they may illustrate.
The region concerned is a Scotland in microcosm. It contains an early Celtic capital in Dumbarton, the preferred palace and the site of the death of Robert the Bruce in Cardross, the birthplace of Tobias Smollett, key cradles of the Industrial Revolution and the home of the winners of the earliest football World Cup.
It is through the prism of the region's specificities that the development of the nation - and its social and political economy as a whole - can be seen in a very particular light.
This history uses a regional basis to examine large-scale issues through specific local and regional events.
It is, therefore, not simply a local history (although it will clearly have an additional local market, not otherwise likely to buy such a book). It is a substantial study of interest to academics and historians worldwide both for its contents and its method, which without being entirely pioneering is innovative.
It is also accessible to interested general readers.