Emigration from Scotland has always been very high. However, emigration from Scotland between the wars surpassed all records; more people emigrated than were born, leading to an overall population decline. Why was it so many people left? Marjory Harper, whose knowledge is grounded in a deep understanding of the local records, maps out the many factors which worked together to cause this massive diaspora. After an opening section where the author sets the Scottish experience within the context of the rest of the British Isles, the book then divides the country geographically, starting with the Highlands, then coastal Scotland, and the urban Lowland highlighting in turn the factors that particularly influenced each of these areas. Harper then discusses the organised religious and political movements that encouraged emigration. By interweaving personal stories with statistical evidence Harper brings to life the reality behind the dramatic historical migration.