"William Keegan is a great columnist and an entertaining and authoritative chronicler of the economic and political history of our times."
David Smith, The Sunday Times
In this new book, Wiliam Keegan of The Observer builds on his earlier best-selling examination of the political career of Gordon Brown, 'The Prudence of Mr Gordon Brown' (2003). A book that expressed some unfashionable concerns about the conduct of New Labour's economic policy and seeked to temper the copious praise that was then being lavished on Brown.
"Saving the World"? takes a fresh look at the later years of Gordon Brown as chancellor and prime minister.
The book, no hagiography, draws equally on the accounts of those who worked closest with him as well as those who he fought and feuded with and provides a balanced view of Brown the leader, arguing that, for all his acknowledged flaws, and policy errors, the degree to which 'it was all Gordon's fault' is much exaggerated.
Brown is widely acknowledged, certainly outside of Britain, to have been the right leader, in the right place at the right time to rescue the world economy in 2008-09, a view supported by amongst others Paul Krugman and Amartya Sen; given the current absence of such impressive leadership in global macro-economic policy, it is a loss that Brown has largely withdrawn from policy issues.
On the home front, his famous 'prudence' was always for a purpose, and as time goes on, it will be seen that he and his colleagues did more for public services in health, education and relief of poverty than has been recognised, although as Keegan shows they did not do enough, with social housing a particular failure.
'Saving the World'?
It's time for a reassessment.
Publication date: October 2012 (paperback)
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"The chancellors judged by Bill Keegan wax and wane. But after decades as one of the UK's leading economic commentators, his light shines as bright as ever." Robert Peston, BBC
"William Keegan is just the man for this sparkling reassessment of Gordon Brown's time in Downing Street. 'Saving the World?' is packed with insights, benefits from a lifetime of charting the ups and downs of the British economy, and is, of course, beautifully written." Larry Elliott, The Guardian
"William Keegan is a great columnist and an entertaining and authoritative chronicler of the economic and political history of our times." David Smith, The Sunday Times
Chapter 1: From hero to zero
Chapter 2: A crisis not entirely of Brown’s making
Chapter 3: Bust after boom –a ‘soundbite’ bites back
Chapter 4: ‘Nice’ while it lasted
Chapter 5: ‘I know I have to take the rap’
Chapter 6: A job turned down– with historic consequences
Chapter 7: Between a rock and a hard choice
Chapter 8: The crisis unfolds
Chapter 9: You cannot bank on banks
Chapter 10: A socialist rides to the rescue of capitalism
Chapter 11: From zero to hero
Chapter 12: “Saving the world”
Chapter 13: A golden myth
Chapter 14: Resisting Euro pressures
William Keegan is one of the UK’s most respected economic commentators.
Over a long career, he has written for the Financial Times, the Daily Mail and The Observer.
He has also worked for the Economic Intelligence Dept of the Bank of England, and has been a member of government, non-government and academic advisory committees, He is a visiting professor of journalism at the University of Sheffield, and has published several books on economic affairs, as well as two works of fiction.