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The Road to Character

 
 
Author
David Brooks.
Publisher Random House  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
ISBN 9780812983418
Pages/Publication Date 300/2015
Daedalus Item Code 73017
This item is not available.
Description
"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," notes David Brooks. Also the author of The Social Animal and a popular New York Times columnist, Brooks here challenges us, and himself, to re-balance the scales between our "résumé virtues" (geared toward achieving wealth, fame, and status) and our "eulogy virtues," the qualities at the core of our being—including kindness, bravery, honesty, and faithfulness—that have a bearing on what kind of relationships we form. 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. In looking at the lives of outwardly focused people, Brooks invites us to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth.

"There is something affecting in the diligence with which Brooks seeks a cure for his self-diagnosed shallowness by plumbing the depths of others."—The New Yorker

"Brooks's gift—as he might put it in his swift, engaging way—is for making obscure but potent social studies research accessible and even startling ... [in this] readable, lucid, often richly detailed human story.... In the age of the selfie, Brooks wishes to exhort us back to a semiclassical sense of self-restraint, self-erasure, and self-suspicion."—NYTBR

 
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