Excellent speech by David Brooks at the Chicago Humanities Festival

I’m a dedicated reader of David Brooks’s work. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s a columnist for The New York Times. He mostly covers politics, but he also writes about culture and the social sciences. I was originally drawn to Brooks’s writing because his political analysis was, for the most part, reasonable and fair. I may not always agree with his arguments, but I find many of his observations fascinating and funny. Along with being a real wit (as you will see in the video), he’s a superb writer.

His social science writing is some of the best stuff out there. In 2011 Brooks published the The Social Animal. It was a New York Times #1 bestseller. The book is about the latest discoveries in social science research. Basically it’s a book that explains how individuals actually flourish as human beings. It’s a book that basically explains to us (through a story) how much our intuitions, emotions and the unconscious parts of our mind, are actually the deciding factors in how our lives actually turn out. It’s one of those non-fiction books I can read over and over. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Social Animal.

In the talk above Brooks discusses politics through the lens of his social science research and his many years as a political journalist. I think It’s a really good, insightful speech. I hope you’ll watch.

2 thoughts on “Excellent speech by David Brooks at the Chicago Humanities Festival

    • Jeff,

      Thanks for the recommended reading on Brooks. I can sympathize with Matt Taibbi’s post. I thought the fictional dialogue he created between him and Brooks was really funny by the way. But I would say to Matt I don’t think Brooks was absolving the bankers as much as saying that the problem isn’t just solved by blaming the bankers. Certainly Wall Street was the primary reason for the crash of 2008 and I do think our laws should have made what was going on illegal. I think some Wall Street bankers should have been criminally charged for what was going on. Brooks actually calls the actions of those bankers “mass stupidity.” And politically, when you look across the current GOP you mostly see extremism, positions too far outside the mainstream. Brooks, who is a Republican, is not an extremist by any stretch. I many not agree with all of his opinions, but I think the GOP could use a little Brooksian moderation right now. With all of this said, I enjoy Brooks’s social science writings and personal reflections probably more than his political writing. Thanks for commenting.

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