Many will recall the excellent series of four programmes produced by Billy Kay and broadcast by BBC Radio Scotland in November and December 2007.

Billy Kay (who is not a Freemason) has recently produced a book which provides a fascinating insight to Image the Scots and their dispersion across the world. Written from a personal point of view the author highlights the extraordinary influence the Scots have had on communities and cultures everywhere they went.

Many have questioned the self-confidence of the Scots (the so called 'Scottish cringe') Billy Kay has travelled the world from Bangkok to Brazil, Warsaw to Waikiki and found ringing endorsements for the integrity and intellect, the poetry and passion of the Scottish people in every country he has visited.

There is one chapter devoted to Scottish Freemasonry (The Mason Word) which is one good reason why this book is worth the modest price of £9.99 but there is much, much, more here.

If you want some idea of how: 'Tae see oursels as ithers see us! (To a Louse, Robert Burns) then this book will certainly provide some insights. Based on the author's observations of how we Scots are perceived by others - this and following generations of Scots have got a lot to live up to.

The Scottish World - A Journey into the Scottish Diaspora by Billy Kay is published by Mainstream Publishing (Edinburgh). Paperback. 319 pages. Illustrated.

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