His critics might suggest that a lack of foresight characterised Gordon Brown’s time in front line politics, whether over the economic crash during his time as Chancellor or the status of his television mic while campaigning for reelection as Prime Minister.
His supporters might be a bit more generous however and say that the former leader’s forthcoming new book 2025: Shaping a New Future – a prediction of how the world will be in 2025 – could be the former Labour leader’s magnum opus, the tome we’ve all been waiting for from one of the towering political intellects of our time.
Due out in November, 2025: Shaping a New Future will be the eleventh book Brown has either edited or penned himself and his first since 2010’s Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation.
A spokesperson for Simon & Schuster told The Bookseller: "In [the book], Brown charts the massive technological, demographic social and political forces - including the explosive growth of a global middle class, reinventing our world."
According to the Guardian, in it he will argue that by 2025:
- A billion people will have a degree
- A minority of young westerners will choose marriage
- Women will become more empowered and their leadership will be a force for change
- A new wave of scientific and medical progress will end avoidable poverty
So, not exactly earth-shattering predictions - but then anyone expecting Gordon to guess whether they’ll still be an American superpower, if the European Union will be united and if the UK will be in the grip of an Ed Miliband-led dynasty were probably likely to be disappointed.
Brown has kept fairly busy since resigning as Prime Minister in 2010.
He returned to the backbenches to represent his constituency Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath and has joined the board of the World Wide Web Foundation to help find ways to get the internet into poorer communities.
He’s also took on an unpaid role as an advisor to the the World Economic Forum and was appointed an 'Distinguished Leader in Residence' by New York University where he lectures on global economics and globalisation.
In terms of publishing, Brown’s many contributions of serious political writing – including collections of his speeches and a reflection on eight historical figures he admires – have all so far failed to match his great rival Tony Blair’s success.
Blair’s memoirs, A Journey, became the fastest-selling autobiography of all time in 2010, selling hundreds of thousands of copies in 24 hours.