Andro Linklater has been a writer for twenty years. He is the author of The Black Watch (with his father, Eric Linklater); Charlotte Despard: A Life; Compton Mackenzie: A Life (winner of the Scottish Arts Council Biography of the Year Award); Wild People: Travels with Borneo's Head Hunters; and The Code of Love (Weidenfeld 2000).
In Measuring America Linklaker describes the effects that scientific developments in the 17th and 18th centuries had on the process of land acquisition in America. He also recounts the Americans' attempts to develop a regulated set of weights and measures. They believed that this would bring about a fairer, more democratic society: in Europe it was the landowners and aristocrats who owned the 'standard' sets of weights, and they would quite frequently use large weights for buying and small weights for selling. Indeed, practices of this kind had been one of the major grievances that sparked off the French Revolution. It is to Linklaker's credit that his book is more interesting that this premise might suggest. If you are interested in the history of measurement or the early history of the USA then you will find that Linklaker writes clearly and entertainingly, and with an obvious interest in his subject. An unusual but successful work. (Kirkus UK)