Author: David Brooks
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2015-04-14
Genre: Social Science
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ECONOMIST • “I wrote this book not sure I could follow the road to character, but I wanted at least to know what the road looks like and how other people have trodden it.”—David Brooks With the wisdom, humor, curiosity, and sharp insights that have brought millions of readers to his New York Times column and his previous bestsellers, David Brooks has consistently illuminated our daily lives in surprising and original ways. In The Social Animal, he explored the neuroscience of human connection and how we can flourish together. 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. Labor activist Frances Perkins understood the need to suppress parts of herself so that she could be an instrument in a larger cause. Dwight Eisenhower organized his life not around impulsive self-expression but considered self-restraint. Dorothy Day, a devout Catholic convert and champion of the poor, learned as a young woman the vocabulary of simplicity and surrender. Civil rights pioneers A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin learned reticence and the logic of self-discipline, the need to distrust oneself even while waging a noble crusade. Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth. “Joy,” David Brooks writes, “is a byproduct experienced by people who are aiming for something else. But it comes.” Praise for The Road to Character “A hyper-readable, lucid, often richly detailed human story.”—The New York Times Book Review “David Brooks—the New York Times columnist and PBS commentator whose measured calm gives punditry a good name—offers the building blocks of a meaningful life.”—Washingtonian “This profound and eloquent book is written with moral urgency and philosophical elegance.”—Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree and The Noonday Demon “The voice of the book is calm, fair and humane. The highlight of the material is the quality of the author’s moral and spiritual judgments.”—The Washington Post “A powerful, haunting book that works its way beneath your skin.”—The Guardian (U.K.) “This learned and engaging book brims with pleasures.”—Newsday “Original and eye-opening . . . At his best, Brooks is a normative version of Malcolm Gladwell, culling from a wide array of scientists and thinkers to weave an idea bigger than the sum of its parts.”—USA Today “There is something affecting in the diligence with which Brooks seeks a cure for his self-diagnosed shallowness by plumbing the depths of others.”—Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker From the Hardcover edition.
Author: David Brooks
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2015-04-14
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 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. David Brooks is a columnist for The New York Times and frequent broadcaster. His previous books include the bestsellers The Social Animal and Bobos in Paradise. His New York Times columns reach over 800,000 readers across the globe.
This review of the bestselling book The Road o Character by David Brooks includes a detailed summary of each chapter, followed by an analysis. The main theme explored in the book is that our modern culture has lost its way in terms of teaching new generations the path to building character. Using data gathered from polls and psychological research the author makes the case that people are more isolated, more self-absorbed, and less able to engage in moral reasoning than generations past. The main thrust of the work is a series of what the author calls moral tales about several important historical figures drawn from memoirs, journals and public records. Brooks shows how these people developed strong character through embracing the qualities of humility, self-discipline, and moral realism. He suggests that the road map to building character is in the willingness to engage in the struggle between our virtues and vices towards the goal of living a more moral life. David Brooks is a conservative columnist for The New York Times, senior editor at The Weekly Standard, and contributing editor at Newsweek and Atlantic Monthly. He is also a regular analyst on NPR's "All Things Considered" and the "Diane Rehm Show." He has authored several books on American culture. Download your copy today! for a limited time discount of only $2.99! Available on PC, Mac, smart phone, tablet or Kindle device. (c) 2015 All Rights Reserved
Author: David Brooks
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2004-06-02
Genre: Social Science
The author of the acclaimed bestseller Bobos in Paradise, which hilariously described the upscale American culture, takes a witty look at how being American shapes us, and how America's suburban civilization will shape the world's future. Take a look at Americans in their natural habitat. You see suburban guys at Home Depot doing that special manly, waddling walk that American men do in the presence of large amounts of lumber; super-efficient ubermoms who chair school auctions, organize the PTA, and weigh less than their children; workaholic corporate types boarding airplanes while talking on their cell phones in a sort of panic because they know that when the door closes they have to turn their precious phone off and it will be like somebody stepped on their trachea. Looking at all this, you might come to the conclusion that we Americans are not the most profound people on earth. Indeed, there are millions around the world who regard us as the great bimbos of the globe: hardworking and fun, but also materialistic and spiritually shallow. They've got a point. As you drive through the sprawling suburbs or eat in the suburban chain restaurants (which if they merged would be called Chili's Olive Garden Hard Rock Outback Cantina), questions do occur. Are we really as shallow as we look? Is there anything that unites us across the divides of politics, race, class, and geography? What does it mean to be American? Well, mentality matters, and sometimes mentality is all that matters. As diverse as we are, as complacent as we sometimes seem, Americans are united by a common mentality, which we have inherited from our ancestors and pass on, sometimes unreflectingly, to our kids. We are united by future-mindedness. We see the present from the vantage point of the future. We are tantalized, at every second of every day, by the awareness of grand possibilities ahead of us, by the bounty we can realize just over the next ridge. This mentality leads us to work feverishly hard, move more than any other people on earth, switch jobs, switch religions. It makes us anxious and optimistic, manic and discombobulating. Even in the superficiality of modern suburban life, there is some deeper impulse still throbbing in the heart of average Americans. That impulse is the subject of this book.
Author: Joseph B. Soloveitchik
Release Date: 2009-07-01
Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the rabbi known as “The Rav” by his followers worldwide, was a leading authority on the meaning of Jewish law and prominent force in building bridges between traditional Orthodox Judaism and the modern world. In THE LONELY MAN OF FAITH, a soaring, eloquent essay first published in Tradition magazine in 1965, Soloveitchik investigates the essential loneliness of the person of faith in our narcissistic, materially oriented, utilitarian society. In this modern classic, Soloveitchik uses the story of Adam and Eve as a springboard, interweaving insights from such important Western philosophers as Kierkegaard and Kant with innovative readings of Genesis to provide guidance for the faithful in today’s world. He explains prayer as “the harbinger of moral reformation,” and discusses with empathy and understanding the despair and exasperation of individuals who seek personal redemption through direct knowledge of a God who seems remote and unapproachable. He shows that while the faithful may become members of a religious community, their true home is “the abode of loneliness.” In a moving personal testimony, Soloveitchik demonstrates a deep-seated commitment, intellectual courage, and integrity that people of all religions will respond to.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE The searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive. A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other. The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation. A New York Times Notable Book One of the Best Books of the Year The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington Post
Author: Christian B. Miller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-11-15
We like to think of ourselves, our friends, and our families as decent people. We may not be saints, but we are still honest, relatively kind, and mostly trustworthy. Miller argues here that we are badly mistaken in thinking this. Hundreds of recent studies in psychology tell a different story: that we all have serious character flaws that prevent us from being as good as we think we are - and that we do not even recognize that these flaws exist. But neither are most of us cruel or dishonest. Instead, Miller argues, we are a mixed bag. On the one hand, most of us in a group of bystanders will do nothing as someone cries out for help in an emergency. Yet it is also true that there will be many times when we will selflessly come to the aid of a complete stranger - and resist the urge to lie, cheat, or steal even if we could get away with it. Much depends on cues in our social environment. Miller uses this recent psychological literature to explain what the notion of "character" really means today, and how we can use this new understanding to develop a character better in sync with the kind of people we want to be.
The Best American Series® First, Best, and Best-Selling The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected — and most popular — of its kind. The Best American Essays 2012 includes Marcia Angell, Miah Arnold, Mark Doty, Joseph Epstein, Jonathan Franzen, Malcolm Gladwell, Francine Prose, Lauren Slater, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jose Antonio Vargas, and others
Winner of the Man Booker Prize “Nothing since Cormac McCarthy’s The Road has shaken me like this.” —The Washington Post From the author of the acclaimed Gould’s Book of Fish, a magisterial novel of love and war that traces the life of one man from World War II to the present. August, 1943: Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. His life, in a brutal Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, is a daily struggle to save the men under his command. Until he receives a letter that will change him forever. A savagely beautiful novel about the many forms of good and evil, of truth and transcendence, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.
Author: David Brooks
Publisher: Short Books
Release Date: 2011-04-01
Genre: Social Science
This is the happiest story you will ever read. It’s about two people who led wonderfully fulfilling, successful lives. The odd thing was, they weren’t born geniuses. They had no extraordinary physical or mental gifts. Nobody would have picked them out at a young age and said they were destined for greatness. How did they do it? In the past thirty years we have learnt more about the human brain than in the previous 3000 – a scientific revolution has occurred. The unconscious mind, it turns out, is most of the mind – the place where the majority of the brain’s work gets done, where our most important life decisions are made, where character is formed and the seeds of accomplishment grow. In this illuminating and compelling book, David Brooks weaves a vast array of new research into the lives of two fictional characters, Harold and Erica, following them from infancy to old age. In so doing, he reveals a fundamental new understanding of human nature. Most success stories are explained at the surface level of life. They describe academic ability, hard work and learning the right techniques to get ahead. This story – the story of Harold and Erica – is told one level down, at the level of emotions, intuitions, biases, genetic predispositions and deep inner longings. The result is a new definition of success, highlighting what economists call non-cognitive skills – those hidden qualities that can’t be easily counted or measured, but which in real life lead to happiness and fulfilment. The Social Animal is a moving and nuanced intellectual adventure. Impossible to put down, it is an essential book for our time – one that will have a broad social impact and change the way we see ourselves and the world.