Scotland is served by 37 national or daily newspapers. Not one supports independence. (The only publication to back a Yes vote is a weekly, the Sunday Herald.) Newspapers have no duty to be fair or balanced, but when Scotland faces a decision as big as the one it’ll make on September 18th, the press being so overwhelmingly skewed to one side is a problem for democracy.
Our website, Wings Over Scotland, is biased too. We support independence, because we think it’ll make Scotland a wealthier, fairer, happier place. We think Scotland will be better off choosing its own governments to solve its problems and make the most of its opportunities, rather than hoping that the people of Kent, Surrey and Essex might elect ones with Scotland’s interests at heart.
We think the facts comprehensively back that belief up. But we’re not going to ask you to take our word for it.
A very great deal of what you’ve been told about independence in the last few years by Unionist politicians and the media is, to be blunt, a tissue of half-truths, omissions, misrepresentations and flat-out lies. We want to show you the truth hidden behind those lies, but using fully-referenced and impartial sources that you can go and check for yourself.
We’ll be mostly using the UK government’s own figures, the views of academic experts and Unionist politicians and officials, NOT those who support independence.
On September the 18th you’re going to have to make the most important decision any Scot in history has ever made, and it seems only fair that you should be able to do it based on the real and full facts. Scotland’s media has only told you one half of the story. Don’t you at least want to hear both sides before you decide?
Rev. Stuart Campbell
Editor, Wings Over Scotland
We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an “empire,” exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories—the islands, atolls, and archipelagos—this country has governed and inhabited?
In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century’s most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.S. soil. In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U.S. doctors conducted grisly experiments they would never have conducted on the mainland and charts the emergence of independence fighters who would shoot up the U.S. Congress.
In the years after World War II, Immerwahr notes, the United States moved away from colonialism. Instead, it put innovations in electronics, transportation, and culture to use, devising a new sort of influence that did not require the control of colonies. Rich with absorbing vignettes, full of surprises, and driven by an original conception of what empire and globalization mean today, How to Hide an Empire is a major and compulsively readable work of history.