Books

My Life, Our Times

Gordon Brown

Former Prime Minister and the country’s longest-serving Chancellor, Gordon Brown has been a guiding force for Britain and the world over three decades. This is his candid, poignant and deeply relevant story.

In describing his upbringing in Scotland as the son of a minister, the near loss of his eyesight as a student and the death of his daughter within days of her birth, he shares the passionately-held principles that have shaped and driven him, reminding us that politics can and should be a calling to serve. Reflecting on the personal and ideological tensions within Labour and its successes and failures in power, he describes how to meet the challenge of pursuing a radical agenda within a credible party of government.

He explains how as Chancellor he equipped Britain for a globalised economy while swimming against the neoliberal tide and shows what more must be done to halt rising inequality. In his behind-the-scenes account of the financial crisis and his leading role in saving the world economy from collapse, he addresses the question of who was to blame for the crash and why its causes and consequences still beset us.

From the invasion of Iraq to the tragedy of Afghanistan, from the coalition negotiations of 2010 to the referendums on Scottish independence and Europe, Gordon Brown draws on his unique experiences to explain Britain’s current fractured condition. And by showing us what progressive politics has achieved in recent decades, he inspires us with a vision of what it might yet achieve today.

Riveting, expert and highly personal, this historic memoir is an invaluable insight into our times.

The Roads to Modernity

Gertrude Himmelfarb (and others)

Gertrude Himmelfarb's elegant and wonderfully readable work, The Roads to Modernity, reclaims the Enlightenment from historians who have downgraded its importance and from scholars who have given preeminence to the Enlightenment in France over concurrent movements in England and in America.

Himmerlfarb demonstrates the primacy and wisdom of the British, exemplified in such thinkers as Adam Smith, David Hume, and Edmund Burke, as well as the unique and enduring contributions of the American Founders. It is their Enlightenments, she argues, that created a social ethic - humane, compassionate and realistic - that still resonates strongly today.

Biography

Gertrude Himmelfarb has taught at the Graduate School of the City University of New York, where she was named Distinguished Professor of History in 1978 and is now Professor Emeritus. She has received the two highest honours bestowed by the United States for distinguished achievement in the humanities: the Jefferson Lectureship in the Humanities in 1991, and the National Humanities Medal in 2004. She is a Fellow of the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and is a member of the Council of Scholars of the Library of Congress. She lives in Washington, D.C.