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  • DEAD GROUND 2018-1918


    Jacketed hardback, 250pp

    ISBN 978-1-9997178-6-5

    Publication date 8 November 2018

    This book is currently only available via Amazon and from selected bookshops. Click here to go to the Amazon page.

    ‘There may be dead ground in between’ goes the line in Henry Reed’s celebrated poem ‘Judging Distances’.  Dead ground in military terms is terrain into which you cannot see. Your enemy might be concealed there. You do not know.  We use the term metaphorically in a wide-ranging way. In our view war itself is dead ground, concealing victory and defeat from view, from those who instigate it and those who must engage in it.

    The book’s perspective is essentially British and Irish, looking at patriotism, war-making, imperialism and colonialism, regime change and nation-building, past and present. There are also accounts of life on the home front, and glances at totalitarianism in both the Soviet and post-Soviet eras.  Ground and place and landscape are key subjects too, as are Nature, human belonging and sensibility.

    There are thirty contributions by celebrated war correspondents, photo-journalists, former soldiers, a former Foreign Office representative, a major architect, memoirists, essayists, artists, brilliant critics and established poets. They are arranged in reversed chronological order, broadly from Armistice Day 2018 to 1918, from Afghanistan to ‘Flanders Fields’, from the poppy as a cause of war to the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.

    Jacket design by Paul Hodgson

    Artwork: Detail from ‘Poppy’, watercolour  by Gail McNeillie © 2018. Photograph of soldiers in Afghan poppy field by Tom Garside © 2018.

    Details on the contributors are available by clicking here or are listed below.

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  • Iain Niall: Part of his Life – Andrew McNeillie


    Ian Niall was the pen name of John McNeillie (1916-2002). Between them they wrote more than forty books, over a period of as many years, from 1939 when at twenty-two John McNeillie published Wigtown Ploughman: Part of His Life, with Putnam of London and New York, a Scottish classic, a book that raised a national controversy, leading to housing reform. A new paperback edition, edited and introduced by Andrew McNeillie, is due from the Edinburgh publisher Birlinn in Autumn 2012.

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  • My Childhood – John McNeillie


    ‘I can remember quite clearly now a recuperating soldier singing me Gaelic songs but I can also remember small, insignificant things – the sound of a porridge pot bubbling; talk on a wet Sunday when the hills were veiled in mist; the clatter and laughter of dancers on the tiled floor of the kitchen when the vigour of their gyrations set up a draught that made the oil-lamp smoke.’

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