"Like many another mild-mannered, naturally courteous and relatively shy man, Calum MacLeod was able to channel his anger into the written word. Unlike most others, he was also able to assuage it by building a road."
"And at the very end of the day, of a life, or of a community, there was a statement to be made. It might, and would, be scorned as a pointless gesture ... But any gesture ... any victory was better than none at all."
" ... this man, who was then aged between fifty-six and ...more
A friend brought me this book from her vacation hiking on the Isles of Lewis, Harris and Skye in Scotland. It is a wonderful story/history of the Isle of Raasay –a small rocky island off of Skye. The focus of the story is Calum MacLeod who builds a mile and three quarter long 12 foot wide road by hand. (Look up the wonderful pictures of the road on the internet) But, the story goes back to the Highland clearances and the 200 plus years leading up to the road. The author uses council records, ...more
Cross-posted from Nightjar's Jar of Books.
An account of the life of Calum MacLeod, and the construction of the road from Brochel Castle to South Arnish, which he built almost single-handedly with only a wheelbarrow and a few hand tools, in hopes of bringing settlers back to the north of Raasay, and connecting his two-person community with the rest of the world.
Calum MacLeod seems to have been a truly remarkable man; his persistence and ingenuity - demonstrated not only by the building of this...more
Calum lived at the remote northern end of Raasay, about 2 miles from the northern end of the road connecting the southern half of the island. Frustrated with inaction from the government bureaucracy concerning requests to extend the road to the residents of ...more
This book will give you feelings if you, like me, are anyhow charmed by the lost culture of people that live on the edge of the world.
I have been in the area and I have seen the island of Raasay, but I would have never dreamt of it being the scenery of a late counter strike of a dying community, embodied by one, extraordinary man.
Read it not as a biography of a man -or a road- but as the tale of a lost world ...more
That he did. By himself. Over 20 ...more
Hutchinson is an amazingly thorough historian, and I felt at the beginning of the book, as he runs through the details of various census recordings of the populations of Raasay and the surroundings small isles, that it was almost reminiscent of Biblical lists of names, like that of the men ...more
The author repeats himself multiple times, but otherwise effectively tells a story about a hardworker man, who steps up to do what the government wouldn't do for his small island.
I only wish that the ...more
Ian McDiarmid leads this drama inspired by the extraordinary true story of how, over a period of ten years, one man built two miles of road by hand (including passing places) on the Scottish island of Raasay, which lies just off the east coast of Skye.