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The Road to Character

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About the Author

David Brooks is a columnist for The New York Times and frequent broadcaster. His previous books include the bestsellers The Social Animal and Bobos in Paradise. His New York Times columns reach over 800,000 readers across the globe.


A powerful, haunting book that works its way beneath your skin -- Oliver Burkeman * Guardian *
Everyone concerned about the good life should read this book -- Tim Montgomerie * Times *
For the Prime Minister's summer reading, I would recommend The Road to Character by the New York Times columnist David Brooks -- Daniel Johnson * Standpoint *
This profound and eloquent book is written with moral urgency and philosophical elegance -- Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
David Brooks is the New York Times's in-house conservative. But he is no strident free marketer or Tea Party crazy; rather he is interested in moral, religious and philosophical questions, and this gives depth and complexity to his column. His latest book, The Road to Character (Allen Lane) - a series of mini-biographies of outstanding individuals from St Augustine to Samuel Johnson - explores how to cultivate the inner life and what it means to be good in an age when the "consumer marketplace encourages us to live by utilitarian calculus" -- Jason Cowley * New Statesman *
David 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... [The Road to Character is] a hyper-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 -- Pico Iyer * New York Times Book Review *
If you like thoughtful polemics, it is worth logging off Facebook to read it * Economist *
[Brooks] emerges as a countercultural leader. . . The literary achievement of The Road to Character is inseparable from the virtues of its author. As the reader, you not only want to know about Frances Perkins or Saint Augustine. You also want to know what Brooks makes of Frances Perkins or Saint Augustine. The voice of the book is calm, fair and humane. The highlight of the material is the quality of the author's moral and spiritual judgments -- Michael Gerson * Washington Post *
Elegant and lucid... a pitch-perfect clarion call, issued not with preachy hubris but from a deep place of humility, for awakening to the greatest rewards of living...The Road to Character is an essential read in its entirety - Anne Lamott with a harder edge of moral philosophy, Seneca with a softer edge of spiritual sensitivity, E. F. Schumacher for perplexed moderns -- Maria Popova * Brain Pickings *
Engrossing treatise on personal morality in today's materialistic, proud world... Brooks's poignant and at times quite humorous commentary on the importance of humility and virtue makes for a vital, uplifting read * Publishers Weekly *

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