Can books really change the world? Gerry HassanScottish Review, 26 October 2021 The past two months has seen me spend much time packing and unpacking piles of books: putting them into boxes, labelling them, taking them out of boxes, and putting them up on newly built shelves as I recently have moved house. It has made me think many things: firstly, about the importance of books and ideas generally; secondly, about their role and impact in my life; and thirdly, on the role of books and ideas, considering the huge challenges we face as humanity and a planet.
Looking back on the Scotland of 1979 and past visions of the futureGerry HassanScottish Review, 24 August 2021 Last week I was speaking to a close friend about some of the big things in life - family, childhood, growing up, parents – and the impact all these have on who you become and how you remember and interpret the past. I recalled a photo of myself aged 15 in my home in Edzell Court, Ardler, Dundee (see above) which I had used to illustrate an article in the past year. Sitting on my bedroom floor, I was happy
Loss is too important to be left to the hate mongers Gerry HassanScottish Review, April 25th 2018 The bewildering nature of modern society – its incessant, demanding change, shifts in employment, remuneration and technologies, and a sense that big decisions are taken elsewhere – means that a feeling of loss is commonplace today in the UK and other developed societies. Yet such is the overwhelming nature of these changes and so deep-seated are feelings of confusion and dislocation that we don’t have time or inclination to stop and pause and understand the many facets of what loss is,
Remembering childhood holidays in Scotland and my first venture into politicsGerry HassanJuly 20th 2016 Everybody’s first experiences of summer holidays are always likely to be special - tinged with evocative memories and memorable moments. My earliest recollection of a summer holiday was the sojourn from Dundee to Girvan in 1969, just before I went to primary school. This trip involved my dad’s light green coloured Volkswagen Beetle; the experience of which left me with a deep-seated affection for such cars. It was the only family holiday on which my maternal granny, Flo (who my mum never got on
The World We Knew: My Father and Frank Sinatra Gerry HassanScottish Review, March 10th 2015 Dads matter. They give us many things, including many reference points – like what it is to be a man, potentially a love of a football or rugby team, perhaps even some political views. I gained all of that from my father but one of the biggest, most evocative connections I have with him is through the music and voice of Frank Sinatra. My dad, Edwin, was born in 1933 and was a young man in the late 1940s and early 1950s when
Dreams of my Father and an Elegy for a Lost ScotlandGerry Hassan Sunday Herald, January 5th 2014 Twenty years ago last October, my father, Edwin, died. I was a young man at the time, in my late twenties, and my dad’s death was a major moment in my life, of maturing, of putting life in perspective, and of sadness. In the months coming up to the anniversary of his death this year, his memory came more to the fore, as I reflected on his life and influence on myself. Truth be told, my father had in his last