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The Story of George Reith
by Marista Leishman
Publisher:Saint Andrew Press
Published:30 October 2012
This is the story of George Reith, the tough and visionary Scot who was the general manager of the Clyde Navigation Trust at the end of the nineteenth century. He made the river Clyde and shipbuilding on the river the most renowned in the world. The author is his great grand-daughter. She is also the daughter of John Reith of BBC fame. George Reith came from a modest background, a wheelwright by trade and a committed Presbyterian. He was a fiercely moral man, austere in his life-style and driven by his vision of Glasgow as a great industrial city. He was respected rather than loved by all who knew him. His story as written by Leishman is unlike the usual biography. It is more like a novel with a series of fictionalised confrontations between Reith and the top scientists and industrialists of his time. These scenes, although invented, are based nevertheless on extensive research and give the story its unique perspective. It ends up much more informative and readable than bald statements of facts. In this way we receive a memorable and intimate portrait of a remarkable man.
Reviewer: John Irvine (24/01/13)