#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • David Brooks challenges us to rebalance the scales between the focus on external success—“résumé virtues”—and our core principles. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ECONOMIST 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. 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 “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 “A powerful, haunting book that works its way beneath your skin.”—The Guardian“Original and eye-opening . . . 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
The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERWith unequaled insight and brio, New York Times columnist David Brooks has long explored and explained the way we live. Now Brooks turns to the building blocks of human flourishing in a multilayered, profoundly illuminating work grounded in everyday life. This is the story of how success happens, told through the lives of one composite American couple, Harold and Erica. Drawing on a wealth of current research from numerous disciplines, Brooks takes Harold and Erica from infancy to old age, illustrating a fundamental new understanding of human nature along the way: The unconscious mind, it turns out, is not a dark, vestigial place, but a creative one, where most of the brain’s work gets done. This is the realm where character is formed and where our most important life decisions are made—the natural habitat of The Social Animal. Brooks reveals the deeply social aspect of our minds and exposes the bias in modern culture that overemphasizes rationalism, individualism, and IQ. He demolishes conventional definitions of success and looks toward a culture based on trust and humility. The Social Animal is a moving intellectual adventure, a story of achievement and a defense of progress. It is an essential book for our time—one that will have broad social impact and will change the way we see ourselves and the world.
An inspiring, thought-provoking exploration of what it means to live a meaningful life, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Road to CharacterEvery so often, you meet a person who radiates joy. Who seems to know exactly why they were put on this earth, and glows with a kind of inner light. Life, for these people, has often followed a two-mountain shape. They get out of school, they start a career, and they begin climbing the mountain they thought they were meant to climb. Their goals on this first mountain are the ones our culture endorses: to be a success, to make your mark, to experience personal happiness. But when they get to the top of that mountain, something happens. They look around and find the view... unsatisfying. They realize: This wasn't my mountain after all. There's another, bigger mountain out there that is actually my mountain.And so they embark on a new journey. On the second mountain, life moves from self-centered to other-centered. They want the things that are truly worth wanting, not the things other people tell them to want. They embrace a life of interdependence, not independence. They surrender to a life of commitment.In The Second Mountain, David Brooks explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. Our personal fulfillment depends on how well we choose and execute these commitments. In The Second Mountain, Brooks looks at a range of people who have lived joyous, committed lives, and who have embraced the necessity of dependence. He gathers their wisdom on how to choose a partner, how to pick a vocation, how to live out a philosophy, and how we can begin to integrate our commitments into one overriding purpose.In short, this book is meant to help us all lead more meaningful lives. But it's also a provocative social commentary. We live in a society, Brooks argues, that celebrates freedom, that tells us to be true to ourselves, at the expense of surrendering to a cause, rooting ourselves in a neighborhood, and binding ourselves to others by social solidarity and love. We have taken individualism to the extreme --and, in the process, we have torn the social fabric in a thousand different ways. The path to repair is through making deeper commitments. In The Second Mountain, Brooks shows what can happen when we put commitment-making at the center of our lives.
Summary of The Road to Character: by David Brooks | Summary & Analysis
Do you believe that spending $15,000 on a media center is vulgar, but that spending $15,000 on a slate shower stall is a sign that you are at one with the Zenlike rhythms of nature? Do you work for one of those visionary software companies where people come to work wearing hiking boots and glacier glasses, as if a wall of ice were about to come sliding through the parking lot? If so, you might be a Bobo. In his bestselling work of "comic sociology," David Brooks coins a new word, Bobo, to describe today's upper class -- those who have wed the bourgeois world of capitalist enterprise to the hippie values of the bohemian counterculture. Their hybrid lifestyle is the atmosphere we breathe, and in this witty and serious look at the cultural consequences of the information age, Brooks has defined a new generation.
Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations (Version 2.0, With a New Afterword)
#1 New York Times Bestseller • Los Angeles Times BestsellerOne of The Wall Street Journal's 10 Books to Read Now • One of Kirkus Reviews's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year • One of Publishers Weekly's Most Anticipated Books of the YearShortlisted for the OWL Business Book Award and Longlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year AwardVersion 2.0, Updated and Expanded, with a New AfterwordWe all sense it―something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your kids. You can’t miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are being transformed in so many realms all at once―and it is dizzying.In Thank You for Being Late, version 2.0, with a new afterword, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them and cushion their worst impacts. His thesis: to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet’s three largest forces―Moore’s law (technology), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)―are accelerating all at once. These accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community. The year 2007 was the major inflection point: the release of the iPhone, together with advances in silicon chips, software, storage, sensors, and networking, created a new technology platform that is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It is providing vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world―or to destroy it.With his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, Friedman shows that we can overcome the multiple stresses of an age of accelerations―if we slow down, if we dare to be late and use the time to reimagine work, politics, and community. Thank You for Being Late is an essential guide to the present and the future.
On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense
Take a look at Americans in their natural habitat: guys shopping for barbecue grills, doing that special walk men do when in the presence of lumber; superefficient soccer Ubermoms who chair school auctions, organize PTAs, and weigh less than their kids; and suburban chain restaurants, which if they merged would be called Chili's Olive Garden Hard Rock Outback Cantina. Are we as shallow as we look? Many around the world see us as the great bimbos. Sure, Americans work hard and are energetic, but that is because we are money-hungry and don't know how to relax. But if you probe deeper, you find that we behave the way we do because we live under the spell of paradise. We are the inheritors of a sense of limitless possibilities, raised to think in the future tense and to strive toward the happiness we naturally accept. On Paradise Drive, at once serious and comic, describes this distinct American future-mindedness that shapes our personalities and underlies our beliefs.
At dusk on the saddest and most terrifying day of her life, Haley Stuart, along with her twin brother Nelson, escapes to the home of the Professor, their mysterious godfather. The old man soon learns that the twins are being hunted for the strange and ancient manuscript that Haley brought back from her recent trip to England. Only the professor can decipher the book and explain why the twins are being hunted for its contents. Through the course of one long, sleepless night, the twins and the professor uncover the thousand-year-old secrets of their ancestors in England. They are riveted by the revelations of fourteen particular ancestors whose poignant stories, one at a time, color Haley’s world with a beautiful and desperately-needed depth of self-understanding. And while taking this suspenseful journey back into eleventh-century England, the trials and adventures of her ancient family seem to be presenting Haley with the solution to her own modern-day nightmare.The Well Kept Secret is a fun and compelling frolic through eleventh-century England, a playful historical romp which suddenly leaves its readers face to face with their own foremothers, their own forefathers, and their own well-kept secrets.
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