To be Scottish is to have a lot to live down, and as Allan Brown shows, this lot do the job superbly.
Whether it be Robert Burns, indecipherable bard of rustic gibberish or Sean Connery, die-hard advocate of a country he refuses to live in.
Or, Alex Salmond, the chortling bullfrog of separatism or Tommy Sheridan, the sexy socialist hardliner. They're all here, and many others; a veritable embassy of bad ambassadors.
50 People Who Screwed Up Scotland is a humorous and chronologically-sequential series of essays, histories and anecdotes that consider those episodes and occurrences in Scotland's political, cultural and social story where, against all odds, defeat was plucked from the jaws of victory.