Dundee is Scotland's fourth-largest city and lies on the north bank of the Tay estuary. A city with an ancient history, Dundee has had to rebuild and reinvent itself three times in the last 350 years. It saw in the third millennium in the midst of its most recent period of regeneration, and with a confidence not felt since the end of the 1800s. The story of the city is told in slightly more detail in the author's one-page introduction to this nice little book.
"Dundee History Tour" is, to quote the blurb on the back of the book, "a unique insight into the illustrious history of Scotland's fourth largest city and shows just how much it has changed during the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Readers are invited to follow author Brian King as he guides them through its streets and alleyways, pointing out the well-known and lesser well-known landmarks along the way." What you get is a book that is sized to fit the pocket and intended to be used as a practical guide to anyone wanting to explore the city. There's a nice two-page map that gives sufficient detail to find your way around the central parts of Dundee, though in this day and age we suspect most people will supplement this with a GPS-linked map on their smartphone. Most importantly, the map serves as a key to the 47 places featured in the rest of the book, allowing you to follow the trail set by the author through the city's geography and history.
The main part of the book comprises 47 sections, one about each of the places featured. Most are given an individual double-page spread, comprising a paragraph of background information and one or sometimes more photographs. Some of these are modern, while others give glimpses of the city's past. Organisation of the 47 sections is geographical. You start in Nethergate and follow what seems to be a well thought-out route through the city centre and then a little further afield. As the cover blurb suggests, places covered include the obvious, such as Discovery and the new V&A Museum, the McManus Galleries and the Howff, and the much less obvious, such as Sinderins and the Wishart Arch. The bottom line with a book like this is this: could we imagine actually using it to guide ourselves around a city we know a little, but not in great detail? The answer is a definite "yes", which suggests it would be an asset to any visitor to Dundee: and many residents.