There is need for a serious book on Scotland, with enough of historical background. And this should be the one -- for Macdonell knows whereof he writes, and usually can be counted on for treading lightly. But this is dull, uninspired, pedantic. He takes the history of the Highlands -- and then the Highlanders. The history of the Lowlands -- and then the Lowlanders. And one gets nothing of the emotional background that motivated their history, and little sense of its sweep and glamor and tragedy, and no sense of the country.