Description - Isles of the West by Ian Mitchell
Isles of the West describes a three-month voyage made in the summer of 1996 around the Hebrides. The author's aim was to explore the major issues peculiar to the islands as the century dawns. How does land reform, for example, look from the point of view of the islanders? Does nature conservation actually help the environment? Is the commercial promotion of 'heritage' a blessing or a curse? Interwoven with the beauty of the islands and the seductive feeling of freedom which comes from making long voyages in small boats is the nagging worry that alien forces, both Scottish and European, sentimental and mercenary, are distorting the indigenous society by imposing outside ideas on communities which are valued in part because they are so free of external pressures. Who are these bodies, both public and private, that want to save the islands from the islanders? Ian Mitchell's controversial book examines these conflicts and describes how pleasant it can be to worry about the future while lolling on the sun-drenched deck of a gently moving sailing boat.
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Author Biography - Ian Mitchell
Ian Mitchell is well-known for his investigative journalism. He is the author of the much acclaimed The Cost of a Reputation, an account of the Aldington v Watts and Tolstoy libel case, one of the most notorious in British legal history. Hel lives on the island of Islay.