Picture of author.

For other authors named David Brooks, see the disambiguation page.

9+ Works 5,959 Members 104 Reviews 9 Favorited

About the Author

David Brooks was born in Toronto, Canada on August 11, 1961. He received a degree in history from the University of Chicago in 1983. After graduation, he worked as a police reporter for the City News Bureau. His other jobs include numerous posts at The Wall Street Journal, a senior editor at The show more Weekly Standard, and a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly. He currently is an op-ed columnist for The New York Times since 2003 and a weekly commentator on PBS NewsHour. He is the author of the several books including Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense, and The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement. He is also the editor of the anthology Backward and Upward: The New Conservative Writing. David Brooks made the New York Times Best Seller List with his title Social Animal: the Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement and The Road to Character. (Publisher Provided) show less
Image credit: David Brooks speaks with David Rubenstein on the National Book Festival Main Stage, August 31, 2019. Photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress By Library of Congress Life - 20190831SM0850.jpg, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82899285

Works by David Brooks

Associated Works

The Way We Live Now (1874) — Introduction, some editions — 2,829 copies
Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame (2012) — Contributor — 53 copies
The Weekly Standard: A Reader: 1995-2005 (2005) — Contributor — 47 copies
The Best American Political Writing 2004 (2004) — Contributor — 41 copies
The Best American Political Writing 2002 (2002) — Contributor — 27 copies
Race Relations: Opposing Viewpoints (2005) — Contributor — 11 copies


Common Knowledge



David Brooks and the end of philosophy in Philosophy and Theory (April 2009)


Now, in The Road to Character, he focuses on the deeper values that should inform our lives. Responding to what he calls the culture of the Big Me, which emphasizes external success, Brooks challenges us, and himself, to rebalance the scales between our “résumé virtues”—achieving wealth, fame, and status—and our “eulogy virtues,” those that exist at the core of our being: kindness, bravery, honesty, or faithfulness, focusing on what kind of relationships we have formed.

Looking to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, Brooks explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built a strong inner character.

I will admit that some chapters rang truer than others in regards to the biographical examples. I really didn't connect with Eisenhower and a couple others. Some started strong and then became weaker. Some went the other direction of weak to strong. I think this is a reflection of my own preference. My preference were those sections regarding Montaigne, Saint Augustine, Frances Perkins, Eisenhower's mother, George Eliot, George C. Marshall, and A. Philip Randolph. Eisenhower and Bayard Rustin didn't make any positive impression on me.

The final chapter did a good wrap. I will be thinking on Mr. Brooks' argument for distinction between Adam I and Adam II for some time. I couldn't help but reflect on Ecclesiastes as I read this book. Many of his arguments and point can be summed up in that one book of the Bible... one of my favorites.
… (more)
wvlibrarydude | 20 other reviews | Jan 14, 2024 |
A lot of the stuff in this book is stuff I already believe. For example, good relationships make life worth living, the early childhood years have a profound effect on later development, most people wildly overestimate the extent to which they are in control of their lives, the culture you grew up in plays a huge role in determining your values and character. These are not radical beliefs, but, as Mr. Brooks says, people love to hear other people confirming their beliefs. So I checked this out as an audiobook and listened to it. (And by the way, the narrator was great.)

Mr. Brooks cited like 200 studies over the course of the book, weaving the "science" in with the story of a fictional couple who embody some of the principles. I put "science" in quotes because science isn't really that good at figuring out people. I think Mr. Brooks would agree with me here. Still, he quotes study after study.

I don't think I'd recommend this unless you like to read the "Findings" section in Harper's, which I do.
… (more)
LibrarianDest | 38 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |
Den85 | 2 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |
I enjoyed the first third of the book and the last chapter. The middle left me wondering why his discovery of religion has anything to do with overcoming tribalism and battling toxic individualism as that is the perfect breading ground for such things. He had good points on forming communities and helping each other, then contradicted himself in how religion is a crucial part of that, after saying religion isn't the same as personal belief - all in an effort to seem relatable? To me it came across as preachy and heavy-handed.

There is a lot of great content in the book, and a lot to be learned, but you will need to be patient while he works through some stuff.
… (more)
travisriddle | 13 other reviews | Dec 25, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Noel Rowe Editor
William Kristol Contributor
Benjamin Aanastas Contributor
Miah Arnold Contributor
Dudley Clendinen Contributor
Ken Murray Contributor
David J. Lawless Contributor
Geoffrey Bent Contributor
Wesley Yang Contributor
Robert Boyers Contributor
Jonathan Franzen Contributor
Malcolm Gladwell Contributor
Garret Keizer Contributor
Lauren Slater Contributor
Paul Collins Contributor
Joseph Epstein Contributor
Peter Hessler Contributor
Richard Sennett Contributor
Francine Prose Contributor
Alan Lightman Contributor
Sandra Tsing Loh Contributor
Mark Edmundson Contributor
Marcia Angell Contributor
Mark Doty Contributor
Mark Helprin Contributor
William J. Bennett Contributor
David Shiflett Contributor
Donald Kagan Contributor
Jeffrey Snyder Contributor
P. J. O'Rourke Contributor
Clifford Orwin Contributor
Joe Queenan Contributor
Tom Bethell Contributor
Florence King Contributor
Peggy Noonan Contributor
Andrew Ferguson Contributor
Richard Brookhiser Contributor
Fred Barnes Contributor
Charles Murray Contributor
David Frum Contributor
Josh Peck Actor
Alice Eve Actor
Benjamin Dodds Contributor
Diana Mengo Translator
Shawn Dobson Illustrator


Also by

Charts & Graphs