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Lessons from history

Intellectuals have had a mixed record in British politics. Let's hope that Gordon Brown is in the tradition of Gladstone rather than of Balfour

By Iain McLean   July 2007

This is the second article in a six-piece symposium on Gordon Brown as intellectual. Other articles include: John Lloyd on an intellectual in power Daniel Johnson on Brown the unsophisticated bookworm Geoff Mulgan on the American inspiration behind Brown’s thinking Richard Cockett on the question of Brown’s religious faith Kamran Nazeer on Brown’s book Courage

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If we define an intellectual as “author of at least one scholarly book,” the last intellectual to be prime minister was AJ Balfour (1902-05; author of A Defence of Philosophic Doubt). The one before…

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