David Brooks

The Social Animal

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FROM NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED COLUMNIST DAVID BROOKS

This is the happiest story you’ll ever read. It’s about two people who lead wonderfully fulfilling lives.

Most success stories are told at the surface level of life. They describe getting good grades, learning certain skills, getting the right jobs and learning the right techniques to get ahead. This story is told one level down, at the level of emotions, intuitions, biases, and deep inner longings, where character is formed and the seeds of accomplishment grow.

It’s possible to tell this story now because over the past thirty years, an array of researchers have peered into the inner mind. I’ve woven their findings into the lives of two characters–Erica and Harold. Through their story you’ll come away with a new perspective on who you are, on how we raise our kids, conduct business, teach, love, and practice politics.

We’re not rational animals or laboring animals; we’re social animals. We emerge out of relationships and live to bond with one another and connect to large ideas.
–David Brooks

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“Through the lens of a hypothetical couple and their offspring, New York Times columnist Brooks cleverly explores the realms of the psyche and the unconscious mind… An uncommonly brilliant blend of sociology, intellect and allegory.”
Kirkus, starred review


–Table of Contents and Introduction

–Reference and Research

–Author Tour


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David Brooks writes an op-ed column for The New York Times. Previously, he has been a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, a contributing editor at Newsweek and the Atlantic Monthly, and an op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal. He is currently a commentator on "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer" and contributes regularly to “Meet the Press” and NPR’s “All Things Considered.” He is the author of Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There and On Paradise Drive : How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense. His articles have appeared in the The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, the Washington Post, the Times Literary Supplement, Commentary, The Public Interest and many other magazines. David Brooks lives in Maryland.
   Photo © David Burnett