21 May 2015, The Tablet

The Road to Character

by David Brooks, reviewed by Ian Brunskill

David Brooks’ last book, The Social Animal, was subtitled “A Story of How Success Happens”. Its message was essentially that we, as individuals and as a society, spend too much time pursuing the wrong kind of success. It was a very successful book. A New York Times columnist and prominent public intellectual in the US, commenting confidently on social policy, culture and current affairs, Brooks has been described as the conservative thinker whom liberals love. He’s certainly the thinker of choice for conservatives who’d love to be thought a bit liberal. He’s very good at popularising difficult ideas, and in the process makes his readers feel not just cleverer but kinder and more reflective – somehow morally better – than they thought they we
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