Denigration and Spite

By Mike Small Chris Deerin famously wrote that ‘Scots have a clear moral duty to stay British’ . He was head of comment at the Telegraph till 2013 and previously political editor of the Daily Record and executive editor of Scotland on Sunday. So… Read More ›

The Liberty Tree

Kenny McAskill reviews The Liberty Tree – The Stirring Story of Thomas Muir And Scotland’s First Fight For Democracy by Murray Armstrong Word Power Books, £11.99 Old Calton cemetery looms over the old town of Edinburgh. Dominating it is the… Read More ›

After Britain

The first of a series of book reviews and features over the coming weeks. This recalls ‘After Britain’ by Tom Nairn, here reviewed by Neal Ascherson. After Britain: New Labour and the Return of Scotland by Tom Nairn Granta, January… Read More ›

The Revenge of History

By Jamie Maxwell Paraphrasing Diderot, the late polemicist Christopher Hitchens once warned that he would “go on keeping score” about the refusal of some countries to participate in the invasion of Iraq “until the last phoney pacifist has been strangled… Read More ›

The Edge of Empire

This Saturday Christopher Harvie (‘A Floating Commonwealth‘) and Michael Gardiner are at Word Power Books, Edinburgh. This is an extract from Michael’s ‘At the Edge of Empire’: According to some accounts, Glover Brothers’ business almost single-handedly revived the prestige of… Read More ›

Bella Review

What are we reading at the moment? Each month we’ll be publishing a series of book, film and music reviews. If you want to write a review articles or send us books or albums to review, email us at: bellasletters… Read More ›

Dream State

“Appalled by the rigged referendum of 1979 which in closing the door to home rule, opened the gates to Thatcher, Morgan insisted on Scotland’s imaginative viability, as a place being transformed by artists whose cultural exertions would in time produce a politics worthy of their talent and tenacity. “

Bombing Kelpies

A review by Alastair McIntosh of the journal, Dark Mountain, Vol. 1, Summer 2010 The editors of Bella have kindly drawn my attention to this debate about the Dark Mountain Project that’s been playing out on Bella Caledonia and asked… Read More ›

The Democracy Of Books

“I’m of the opinion that authors should avoid reviewing books of their peers” Philip Kerr. By Kevin Williamson There’s been a nice wee authorial square-go erupted between our very own Philip Kerr and Allan Massie.  Its not quite the talk… Read More ›

Broonland – Two Views

Verso have just published Chris Harvie’s Broonland (available at Word Power Books) described as: ‘an essential anatomy of New Labour’s bankrupt policies and a caustic portrait of a decade that went from boom to bust.’ Last month we published Harvie’s… Read More ›

Burke and Hare

Burke and Hare Martin Conaghan and Will Pickering (2009) Insomnia Publications The Anatomy Murders Lisa Rosner (2009) University Pennsylvania Press Since Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen (1986 ) everyone’s been waiting about for ‘the graphic novel’ to grow up…. Read More ›

We Are All Learners

Two absolutely superb new  ventures have loomed into view recently. The first is the rather luverly looking This is Central Station, who say:  ‘this is a space for exploring art, film and design. Come in, join the community, share and… Read More ›

Book of Scotlands

I don’t share Pat Kanes view of Momus (“for me, he’s one of the most challengingly brilliant Scottish minds of the last twenty years”) or his assessment of Alasdair Gray (“misogynist fantasies suffuse his writings”) but I do agree that… Read More ›