Happily coinciding with today’s transfer of power to Gordon Brown, the July issue of Prospect, published today, features a six-article symposium on Brown as intellectual.
Gordon Brown is the first prime minister in decades—possibly a century—who can be said to be a genuine intellectual. This must be significant—but the question our writers attempt to tackle is: how? Despite his bookishness, curiously little is known of Brown’s worldview. He has roots in Scottish social democracy, but how far has he moved on? What books are most important to him? Why are two of his favourite thinkers right-wing Americans? He is a moralist, but is he also a practising Christian? And as Brown moves into No 10, what will all this mean for the governance of Britain?
These and other questions are considered by our six writers:
John Lloyd on Brown the intellectual
Iain McLean on Britain’s other intellectual prime ministers
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