Emigration from Scotland has always been very high. Some may assume that it peaked with the Highland clearances. 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 goes on to talk about the organised religious and political movements that encouraged emigration and ties them into the story. Interweaving personal stories with statistical evidence she brings to life the reality behind the dramatic historical migration. The book includes material from Canada and Australia, the most common destination of many of the emigrants, which continues the story from their arrival in their new homelands.