This Autumn we’ll be opening our doors to acclaimed historian, publisher, and BBC broadcaster, James Crawford. His first work of non-fiction, Fallen Glory: The Lives and Deaths of the World’s Greatest Lost Buildings, was met with universal acclaim, featuring on the Independent, New Statesman and the Scotsman’s Best Books of 2015 list, and was latterly shortlisted for the Saltire ‘Non-Fiction Book of the Year’ Award.
Following on from his various successes, James presents us with: The Edge of the Plain: How Borders Make and Break Our World. In which he argues that our enduring obsession with borders has brought us to a crisis point: that we are entering the endgame of a process that began thousands of years ago, when we first started dividing up the earth. Beginning with the earliest known markers denoting the end of one land and the beginning of the next, Crawford follows the story of borders into our fragile and uncertain future – towards the virtual frontiers of the internet, and the shifting geography of a world beset by climate change. In the process, he travels to borders old and new: from a melting border high in the glacial landscapes of the Austrian-Italian Alps to the to the Sonoran Desert and the fault lines of the US/Mexico border.
Combining history, travel and reportage, The Edge of the Plain explores how borders have grown and evolved to take control of our landscapes, identities and, ultimately, our futures. Is it time to let go of the lines which divide us? Join James in the Bookshop to find out!
Born in Shetland in 1978, James Crawford studied History and Philosophy of Law at the University of Edinburgh, winning the Lord President Cooper Memorial Prize, and for over a decade he worked for and researched Scotland’s National Collection of architecture and archaeology. He has scripted and presented three series of the landmark BBC One documentary Scotland from the Sky and in 2019 was named as the first-ever Scottish ambassador for the UK Archive and Records Association’s ‘Explore Your Archives’ campaign. He lives in Edinburgh.