Gordon Brown to reveal 'harsh truths' in memoir

Gordon Brown to reveal 'harsh truths' in memoir

Gordon Brown is publishing a memoir with The Bodley Head this autumn, telling the story of his life in politics and revealing "harsh truths" about British politics today.

The book is the former prime minister's first memoir. In it, Brown will draw on his experience as PM during the economic crisis of 2008, and as Britain’s longest-serving Chancellor, from 1997 to 2007, to offer views on Britain's economic transformation in recent decades, the deeper causes of the crash and its ongoing legacy. 

He will also provide critical insight into "key relationships" in Westminster, global conflicts, the coalition negotiations of 2010, the referendums on Scottish Independence and Britain’s exit from the EU, and reflect "candidly", according to Vintage, on the successes and challenges of Labour governments, from the 1980s until the present day.

Alongside an account of his role in front-line politics, the book will include reflection on personal experiences, including his upbringing in Kirkcaldy, Fife, as the son of a minister, the near loss of his eyesight just as he was going to university, the loss of his daughter Jennifer within days of her birth and how that tragedy has been able to help other parents through the founding of the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory.

Brown said: “We are at a critical moment in history. In sharing my experiences over the past four decades and the lessons I have learned as a politician, economist, chancellor and prime minister, I hope to shed light on the tumultuous change we are now facing and to offer insights that may be useful in furthering the cause of progressive politics.

“Above all, I hope to inspire confidence that we can meet these fresh challenges with a renewed sense of shared values and purpose.”

A spokesman for The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown confirmed that proceeds from publication of the book will go to the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory, Theirworld and towards other charitable and public service work.

Will Hammond, editorial director, acquired world English language rights from Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown, and called it "a book of urgent importance" and "a reminder of what can be achieved by progressive politics".

The book follows others by Brown on economics and the Scotland's referendum, but this will be Brown's first memoir. In total his books have sold 20,992 copies for £283,975. His biggest seller is a book published in 2010 about the financial crisis, Beyond the Crash (Simon & Schuster UK), which sold 13,230 copies for £176,605.  

His other books include Courage: Eight Portraits, an exploration of the lives of eight outstanding 21st-century figures published with Bloomsbury; Britain’s Everyday Heroes (BBC), about ordinary people with extraordinary commitment to their communities; and, most recently in June 2014, My Scotland, Our Britain: A Future Worth Sharing (Simon & Schuster UK), a “considered contribution to the debate surrounding Scottish independence”.

Hammond said: “Gordon Brown’s unique vantage point on the major shifts in British politics from the 1980s to the present make for a riveting book and equip him to explain the world we face today with genuine insight.

“As well as being a book of urgent importance, it presents the life and thinking of a man of deep principle and intellect as well as a reminder of what can be achieved by progressive politics. The Bodley Head and Vintage are proud to be his publishers for this important book.”