David Brooks

Submitted by on Sep 2, 2015

David Brooks

David Brooks has a gift for bringing audiences face to face with the spirit of our times with humour, insight and quiet passion. He is a keen observer of the American way of life and a savvy analyst of present-day politics and foreign affairs.

He holds several prestigious positions as a commentator:

  • Bi-weekly Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times
  • Regular analyst on PBS NewsHour and NPR’s All Things Considered

David’s newest book, The Road to Character (April 2015), “explains why selflessness leads to greater success. He tells the story of ten great lives that illustrate how character is developed, and how we can all strive to build rich inner lives, marked by humility and moral depth. In a society that emphasises success and external achievement, The Road to Character is a book about inner worth.”

His previous book, The Social Animal: A Story of How Success Happens. uses the story of a fictional American couple to explain the importance of neuroscience and sociology in understanding America’s politics, culture, and future. His other books, Bobos in Paradise and On Paradise Drive are in a style he calls “comic sociology”— descriptions of how we live and”the water we swim in” that are as witty and entertaining as they are revealing and insightful. Bobos in Paradise was a New York Times bestseller.

David is currently teaching a course at Yale University. He holds honourary degrees from Williams College, New York University, Brandeis University, Occidental College, among others. In 2010, Brooks became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

David Brooks has worked at The Weekly Standard. joining the magazine at its inception and serving as senior editor. He has been a contributing editor at Newsweek and the Atlantic Monthly. He worked at The Wall Street Journal for nine years in a range of positions, including op-ed editor.

  • Jackson Senior Fellow, Yale University
  • Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times
  • Weekly political commentator, PBS NewsHour
  • Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Regular commentator on NPR
  • Former writer, editor or columnist for Wall Street Journal. Atlantic Monthly. Newsweek. The Weekly Standard. and other major print media

David Brooks

In The Road to Character David Brooks, best-selling author of The Social Animal and New York Times columnist, explains why selflessness leads to greater success

New York Times #1 Bestseller

You could say there are two kinds of virtues in the world, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the ones you list on your CV, the skills that contribute to external success. The eulogy virtues are deeper. They’re what get talked about at your funeral and they are usually the virtues that exist at the core of your being — whether you are kind, brave, honest or faithful, what kind of relationships you formed over your lifetime.

In this urgent and soul-searching book, David Brooks explores the road to character. We live in a culture that encourages us to think about how to be wealthy and successful, but which leaves many of us inarticulate about how to cultivate the deepest inner life. We know that this deeper life matters, but it becomes subsumed by the day-to-day, and the deepest parts of who we are go unexplored and unstructured. The Road to Character connects us once again to an ancient moral tradition, a tradition that asks us to confront our own weaknesses and grow in response, rather than shallowly focus on our good points. It is a focus David Brooks believes all of us — including himself — need to reconnect with now.

Telling the stories of people through history who have exemplified the different activities that contribute to a deeper existence, Brooks uses the diverse lives of individuals such as George Eliot, Dwight Eisenhower and Augustine to explore traits such as self-mastery, dignity, vocation and love. He hopes that through considering their lives it will fire the longing we all have to be better, to find the path to character.

Allen Lane (21 April 2015)

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