These essays, first published between 1925 and 1927, propose a radical overhaul and a new construction of Scotland's cultural identity. MacDiarmid focuses on poetry and the novel, on theatre, art, music, history and education, and also on writing by women in Scotland. His criticism of conventional attitudes is balanced by an appraisal of the possibilities in Scotland for a renaissance in the arts and a reassertion of national cultural and political identity. MacDiarmid seeks to integrate cultural and social wellbeing. How successful has his challenge been met? The essays are published with the correspondence to which they gave rise, and which form a running commentary. The author's 1976 comments appear in the book as an appendix.