The Road to Character

The Road to Character 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 curios

  • Title: The Road to Character
  • Author: DavidBrooks
  • ISBN: 9780812993257
  • Page: 284
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 dai 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 r sum 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.

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    One thought on “The Road to Character”

    1. I'm sure dedicated trend-watchers must view reality TV, political scandals, and the eternal Kim-n-Kanye peep show with unalloyed dismay. Especially for social conservatives, yoked with a sense of moral obligation to the larger society, they must feel an especial impulse to intervene, to stand athwart the downhill slalom they perceive society following, and holler "Stop!" Bill Bennett felt that impulse twenty years ago. The feeling is older than dirt.David Brooks has represented the voice of mode [...]

    2. I spotted David Brooks' latest non-fiction book, The Road to Character, while I was browsing new books available on NetGalley. It looked like something that I might enjoy and perhaps even find to be inspirational. Thank you to Random House for sending me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest reviewOT - In The Road to Character, New York Times Columnist David Brooks profiles a range of people spanning several eras that he considers to have a strong sense of character. These are mostly very f [...]

    3. I love David Brooks! His book "The Social Animal" was fabulous, and so is this new book, "The Road to Character". Right from the start--its interesting. He explores the difference between the resume virtues and the eulogy virtues. The eulogy virtues are deeper --exist at the core of our being. (type of character we are) -- yet many of us have thought more about the resume --strategies for how to achieve career success than we do for how we develop a profound character. Throughout the book he exa [...]

    4. In this book David Brooks gives what might be considered the longest, and best, commencement speech ever. He speaks personally, yet universally also. He is not just talking to college-leavers but to any of us ready to embark on a new quest in our lives. He takes the reading, experience, and thought of a lifetime and presents us with what he considers to be more important than the pursuit of happiness: the pursuit of goodness, character, morality. Happiness comes as the byproduct of a moral life, [...]

    5. David Brooks, columnist for The New York Times and author of this and several other books, has become a baal teshuva (Orthodox Jew). I knew that going into the book, but because it draws from such varied sources, I’m not sure I would have figured it out on my own, but the values here are definitely Jewish. The bulk of the book is made of short biographies of exemplary people, but before I go into those, I must explain the viewpoint of the book overall.The very first chapter draws from The Lone [...]

    6. David Brooks calls for a cultural shift away from the "Big Me" meritocracy of seeking status and climbing the social ladder, and back in the direction of modesty, self-effacement, and public virtue. Less Kardashians and more regular old good people who lead lives of quiet self-respect, who are secure in their own inner character, and who don't have to broadcast their good deeds to feel important or to get ahead. It's good cultural criticism from one of our finest public intellectuals.

    7. I very much wanted to like this book. David Brooks is one of my favorite columnists, a writer whose opinions I always find interesting even though I not infrequently disagree with them. True, I have often found his book-length works diffuse, a bit rambling, and too often unconvincing, and I have concluded that he does his best work in a shorter format. Nevertheless, the topic of this book intrigued me, and I wanted his argument to be successful, whatever it might be.Brooks is convinced that ther [...]

    8. While I do not share David Brooks' political views, I do like this book. He is cogent on the lack of deep attention to moral development in our current culture. He is on to something. His approach draws from the lives of a cross section of thinkers, leaders, and parents weaving a tapestry of a moral and a meaningful life. His style could be better and at times it appears to be a sermon but that does not detract from his argument. Brooks writes that the narcissism -the me generation- is the new n [...]

    9. I like David Brooks. I watch him every week on PBS Newshour, and he always seems like such a pleasant man. He wears the most tastefully expensive suits, his cultivated voice is always low and soothing, and his discreetly coiffed silver hair is always perfect. When I opened this book, I was charmed by the depth of his learning and his admiration for so many amazing men and women of past eras. How can you not love an author who pays tribute to football great Johnny Unitas and Victorian novelist Ge [...]

    10. This book describes the journey toward character from several different historical characters. Each chapter David Brooks shares a different person's story. His desire is to point out the different thought processes about character from other time periods specifically moral realism versus moral romanticism. He develops an argument toward the imbalance within our own time period. Definitely worth a read even if just for the great stories.

    11. Quick take on David Brooks' *Road to Character*: sort of sad we live in a society that needs this book. But we need this book. The real trick? Getting those who *need* to read it to *want* to read it.Watch for my review in The Hedgehog Review.

    12. David Brooks doesn't profess to always follow the road to character, but he wanted to know what it looked like. Thus, his motivation for studying people throughout history who made an effort to build their character and follow a moral code of conduct that wouldn't change based on circumstance, their desires, or the fashion of the day.The book starts with an eloquent introduction. Brooks outlines his thesis that humans have an internal struggle between "Adam 1" (the purest, moral self) and "Adam [...]

    13. Disappointing and poorly set upI think people's reaction to this book will depend on what they buy it for and hope to get out of it before they even open page one. We read this for my book club, and it was hard to slog through for me. The premise of Brooks' philosophy has its genesis in earlier work by Joseph Soloveitchik, who believed that there are two creation stories in Genesis because there are two sides to man, an external achievement-focused one and an internal one, which Brooks calls the [...]

    14. This book is basically a collection of essays about people from the past whom he admires. It's basically how the 'virtuous' lived in The Good Ole Days™. He extols "eulogy traits" over "resume traits" but each of these people has quite the resume. If the presidency is on your resume, you don't even need a resume anymore.He writes about various people and their lives in a more-or-less biographical fashion from birth to death, which is quite repetitive. He also bends over backwards to make their [...]

    15. I think I read this book at just the right time of my life. I heard David Brooks speak at the Sixth & I Synagogue last week and have been entirely inspired by his approach to the question of character. I have been taking a break from my career and reflecting on what my life is all about. He nails it. It is the journey we take to be better human beings - what he calls "eulogy virtues" instead of public successes - the "resume virtues". I think the philosophy he puts forward and the examples o [...]

    16. I like David Brooks, one of the few conservative pundits writing for the “New York Times.” Similar to Thomas Friedman – they both tend to go off on god-awful tangents – Brooks is an excellent writer, and his newest book, “The Road to Character,” is a gem. His premises: we need to rebalance the scales between our “resume virtues” – achieving wealth, fame, and status – and our “eulogy virtues,” those that exist at the core of our being, such as kindness, bravery, and honest [...]

    17. While I do admire the amount of research David Brooks must have put into writing this book, I simply do not agree with his conclusion. And I rather disliked the condescending tone of the book. Thanks for the advice Dave, but no thanks. I've found my own road to character and it suits me just fine.

    18. David Brooks walks us through the minds, lives and inner struggles of a collection of outstanding and inspiring leaders and thinkers in history. He comments on how narcism pervades our present generation and how the culture of “Big Me” is inherently perpetuated by our society’s value and focus on the mastery of an individual's “resume virtues” (ie: exam scores, community service hours, professional achievements, etc.). When emphasized, these are the characteristics that often provides [...]

    19. The introduction and first chapter of this book are both amazing. I mean, I was underlining passages left and right. Brooks is a wonderful writer and very insightful. I thought his summary of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchick's Adam I and Adam II argument (from Soloveitchick's book, Lonely Man of Faith) was thoughtful and easily accessible. There is no doubt that Brooks is most successful when he takes what he knows and what he has read and draws general conclusions and insights about life. I actually [...]

    20. I know the voice of David Brooks from watching him as a pundit on the PBS NewsHour. So I was excited when I began listening to this book that it was him actually reading it! But I was immediately disappointed because he only read the introduction and then it switched to another reader.I read this book in a somewhat shallow way. I enjoyed it as a series of brief biographies about basically interesting people. The more in-depth philosophy about how they represented certain trends in how people in [...]

    21. I feel sort of dumbfounded. It is an incredibly bizarre thing to read someone come to Jesus in a manner both extremely oblique and extremely public. When you think about David Brooks, though, a man whose job is punditry, it makes more sense. Brooks' job is to know something before anything can actually be known about it. He can't talk about himself, because he talks about ISSUES and history and TOPICS, and he has to talk about whatever way before there is time for reflection. This it makes sense [...]

    22. Summary: David Brooks explores the issue of character development through the hard-won pursuit of moral virtue, exemplified in the moral quests of people as diverse as Augustine and Bayard Rustin, Frances Perkins and Dorothy Day.I’ve long followed The New York Times op-ed pieces of David Brooks. Brooks often has seemed to me to be a quiet, reasoned voice speaking against the prevailing cultural winds. I wrote recently about the qualities of charity and cogency in public conversation and have l [...]

    23. Near the beginning of the book, Brooks declares: “I was born with a natural disposition toward shallowness…. I’m paid to be a narcissistic blowhard, to volley my opinions, to appear smarter than I really am, to appear better and more authoritative than I really am. I have to work harder than most people to avoid a life of smug superficiality. I’ve also become more aware that, like many people these days, I have lived a life of vague moral aspiration— vaguely wanting to be good, vaguely [...]

    24. Excellent book, borderline 5-stars. This is not a "self-help" book. It starts from the premise that our moral ecology has shifted since the end of the Second Wold War from the "little me" to the "Big Me," from self-sacrificing and self-disciplined to self-centered. It is a serious attempt to look at what traits and virtues comprise "character", and what instills those characteristics. These are the virtues and characteristics that I saw more of when I was growing up, and that I have long felt ha [...]

    25. Less pedantic and more important than much of his other work, The Road to Character is a must-read for anyone interested in the impact of culture on individuals (and vice versa), gleaning insight from others' experience, and most importantly, how strong character is formed. I delighted in the way Brooks divided chapters according to topics and used historical figures' stories to illustrate them. (My only real beef with the book is the lack of women portrayed within it.) You'll learn about self-c [...]

    26. I very much like and respect David Brooks; however, this book is not one of his shining accomplishments. I question why he felt a need to write this book. I saw his book review interview on Charlie Rose and I think Brooks is personally struggling with his character after a career as a conservative political pundit and his recent divorce. His universe may be off kilter in his life and being. Hence this book attempts to define the two characteristics of what makes a person: Adam I being your resum [...]

    27. I really liked a few of the ideas. Some of the biographies were interesting, but several parts were dull.The author talks about several famous people, giving examples of their work and contributions to society.The author divides humans into two selfs: Adam 1 the traits that appear on a resume, Adam 2 the traits that appear on a tombstone or eulogy.Adam 2 traits/ideas include the following:humility, quiet your own egostruggle against sin (selfishness, prejudice, insecurity, cruelty)become more di [...]

    28. David Brooks is my favorite journalist of all time, coming out just ahead of Roger Ebert and Dave Barry. So it's difficult to do a critical reading of his books. As one of the token conservative columnists at the New York Times, Mr. Brooks has the unique challenge of writing to an audience that is largely dismissive of him. I admire the man's intellectual honesty but more importantly his attitude of epistemological modesty (the idea that we can't really know much). Too many people are just too s [...]

    29. David Brooks reminds us how to be human inThe Road to Character. Is his writing common sense? Absolutely! Unfortunately, many of us, myself included, need our moral compass adjusted from time to time.

    30. David Brooks attempts in this book to provide a modern version of Plutarch, mixed perhaps with a heavy dose of "Lives of the Saints". The intent is to come to a better understanding of how people come to achieve balance and peace in their struggles against a demanding universe and what virtues they cultivate to enable them to triumph. The lives profiled range widely to include military and political leaders, leaders of movements, social workers, with even some writers and a church father thrown [...]

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