David Brooks
David Brooks
David Brooks is a political and cultural commentator who considers himself a moderate and writes for the New York Times. He worked as an editorial writer and film reviewer for the Washington Times; a reporter and later op-ed editor for The Wall Street Journal; a senior editor at The Weekly Standard from its inception; a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly; and as a commentator on National Public Radio.
Biography
David Brooks's personal information overview.
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News
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Super PAC! Super Bad!
NYTimes - almost 3 years
Conversation between Op-Ed columnists David Brooks and Gail Collins on the race for the Republican nomination for president and the impact that 'super PACs' have had on the contest. Photo
Article Link:
NYTimes article
David Brooks And A Figment Of The Neoconservative Imagination
Huffington Post - about 19 hours
Angst in the Church of America the Redeemer Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com Apart from being a police officer, firefighter, or soldier engaged in one of this nation’s endless wars, writing a column for a major American newspaper has got to be one of the toughest and most unforgiving jobs there is.  The pay may be decent (at least if your gig is with one of the major papers in New York or Washington), but the pressures to perform on cue are undoubtedly relentless. Anyone who has ever tried cramming a coherent and ostensibly insightful argument into a mere 750 words knows what I’m talking about.  Writing op-eds does not perhaps qualify as high art.  Yet, like tying flies or knitting sweaters, it requires no small amount of skill.  Performing the trick week in and week out without too obviously recycling the same ideas over and over again ― or at least while disguising repetitions and concealing inconsistencies ― requires notable gifts. David Brooks of the New York Times is a ...
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Huffington Post article
The Final Solution: Donald Trump and PDD
The Huffington Post - 23 days
Persistent Depressive Disorder or Dysthymia affects millions of Americans. But if we are to base the diagnosis of depression on behavior, then it's unlikely that Donald Trump has ever suffered from this ailment. Even at the times in his career when he has been threatened with bankruptcy and unable to pay loans or contractors, Trump has never, at least publicly, shown any signs of being even mildly under the weather. Have you ever met people who constantly blame others for their problems? That's Trump in a nutshell. Luckily he won. If he'd lost it would have been not because of any defects in his policies or character but because of the fact that the system was rigged. Trump never seems to turn his aggression against himself. It's always projected onto an enemy who almost immediately assumes a soubriquet such as "Crooked Hillary," "Lyin' Ted," "Little Marco," or the "failing" New York Times. Trump University has had to pay a $25 million dollar settlement in response to fraud charges. S ...
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The Huffington Post article
Editors Confront The 'Emergency’ Of Donald Trump's Presidency
Huffington Post - 28 days
NEW YORK ― The journalist’s job, in many ways, remains the same under President Donald Trump: report aggressively and factually and hold power to account.  But even as editors reaffirmed that fundamental role of the press during a Wednesday night panel at NYU, there was a shared sense of urgency and concern that even the most intrepid reporting alone won’t cut it during these uncertain times. Trump, said New Yorker editor David Remnick, has already “begun to challenge constitutional and democratic norms,” “That isn’t politics,” Remnick said. “That’s an emergency.” Over the past week, Trump has declared “war” on the media and pledged to investigate a bogus conspiracy theory about voter fraud. His press secretary unloaded on reporters in a falsehood-filled tirade and one of his top advisers introduced the Orwellian phrase “alternative facts” into the public discourse. It’s not only Trump’s vilification of the press, evident throughout the campaign, that presents a threat ...
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Huffington Post article
NYT's David Brooks Dismisses The Women's March As 'Identity Politics'
Huffington Post - about 1 month
In a column published Tuesday, The New York Times’ David Brooks tries to argue that the women and men who marched Saturday were wasting their time on what he dismisses as “mass therapy” and ineffective “identity politics.” His rationale is basically: Oh, girls with their silly pink hats and trifling concerns, please stop; I know what’s best. Leave this stuff to the men in the political parties.   This is how he puts it: “The marches offered the pink hats, an anti-Trump movement built, oddly, around Planned Parenthood, and lots of signs with the word ‘pussy’ in them. The definition of America is up for grabs. Our fundamental institutions have been exposed as shockingly hollow. But the marches couldn’t escape the language and tropes of identity politics.” This is a complete misread of what happened around the country on Saturday, when millions of men, women and children ― of all identities ― came together to fight for their rights around a platform that is powerful, far-reachi ...
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Huffington Post article
Week In Politics: Trump Begins 'Thank You' Tour In Indiana
NPR - 3 months
NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with political commentators David Brooks of The New York Times and Jamelle Bouie, chief political correspondent for Slate, about the beginning of President-elect Donald Trump's "thank you" tour, new controversy over Trump's tweets about voter fraud and his latest cabinet appointments.
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NPR article
David Brooks Demands A Safe Space For Wealthy Centrist Newspaper Columnists
Huffington Post - 3 months
In the wake of the presidential election, it was always going to fall to either David Brooks or Thomas Friedman to fill The New York Times op-ed pages with what they see as the most badly needed commodity in America: sophistry about centrism. And so it went that Friedman ― no doubt delayed by his quest to find nine new synonyms for “interconnectedness” ― was beaten to the punch by Brooks, who on Tuesday laid out “The Future of the American Center” ― which, as it turns out, sounds a lot like many past David Brooks columns. To no one’s surprise! Brooks, like most sentient creatures, is alarmed that the next president looks for all the world to resemble that classic rough beast, slouching towards Bethlehem. It’s understandable that he’s rattled by this. What’s less understandable, of course, is his generic call for a “movement ... that is part Milton Friedman on economic policy, Ronald Reagan on foreign policy and Franklin Roosevelt on welfare policy.” Aside from the fact that this ...
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Huffington Post article
The Center Strikes Back: David Brooks NYT Column Heralds Emergence of No Labels-Led "New Center"
Yahoo News - 3 months
WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the wake of a historically divisive election, No Labels is making an aggressive play to unify citizens and leaders around a "New Center," a development described in this morning's David Brooks The New York Times column. No Labels is set to unveil leaders of the New Center on December 5 in Washington, D.C. at 1787: Constructing the Peace After the War , a first-of-its-kind leaders meeting featuring members of Congress, mayors, governors and leaders from across the country. In describing the current political climate, Brooks suggests that "what's about to happen in Washington may be a little like the end of the Cold War—bipolarity gives way to multipolarity.
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Yahoo News article
Watch Gwen Ifill Call Out Fellow Journalists For Not Standing Up To Racism
Huffington Post - 3 months
As journalists pay tribute to trailblazing newscaster Gwen Ifill, who died on Monday, one particularly poignant moment stands out. In April 2007, radio host Don Imus was under fire for calling the Rutgers’ women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos.” He was later fired over the infamous remark, even though he’d gotten away with other, similarly gross comments. In a roundtable discussion on NBC’s “Meet the Press” at the time, Ifill pointed out the hypocrisy of those attacking Imus despite having never taken issue with his earlier racist statements. “There has been radio silence from a lot of people who have done [Imus’ show] who could have spoken up and said, I find this offensive or I didn’t know,” Ifill said. “These people didn’t speak up.” Turning to “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert and fellow guest David Brooks, she said, “Tim, we didn’t hear from you. David, we didn’t hear from you.”  Ifill then noted her own experience with Imus. Years before the R ...
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Huffington Post article
Thank You President Barack Obama!
Huffington Post - 4 months
Eight years to the day (November 4, 2008), 92% White and 3% Black Iowans gave Kenyan-American Barack Hussein Obama 38% of the votes in the 2008 Iowa Caucus thereby sending the man derisively called the "junior senator from Illinois" on his way to an extremely hard-fought and character-building victory over the New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary R. Clinton in the Democratic Party Primary. Barack Obama's victory over Hillary Clinton set the stage for what should have been an equally hard fight against the Republican Party nominee and decorated war hero John McCain. That never happened. Vividly illustrating the inability to "walk and chew gum at the same time", John McCain stumbled from selecting the hitherto unknown Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate to "suspending his campaign" even as he declared that the then-free falling US economy was "fundamentally sound". In one fell swoop, the "maverick" captain of the "Straight-talk Express" became an answer t ...
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Huffington Post article
Week In Politics: The Debate, Undecided Voters, Military Veterans And More
NPR - 4 months
NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with David Brooks of the New York Times, and EJ Dionne of the Washington Post and the Brookings Institution about the politics of the week.
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NPR article
Letters: Is Idealism Missing From the Presidential Campaign?
NYTimes - 5 months
Readers discuss David Brooks’s lament that “there is no uplift in this race.”
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NYTimes article
On David Brooks And Colin Kaepernick
Huffington Post - 5 months
NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand during the national anthem in protest against "police brutality and social injustice" has provoked much righteous outrage. Thoughtful critics like New York Times columnist David Brooks have tried to dissuade younger football players from following Kaepernick's example. Beginning with the Puritans, Brooks argues, America has embraced a "civic religion," a creed based on the notion of equality that has "shaped efforts at reform" and "bonded Americans together." Commitment to this belief has moved us inexorably toward change in a positive direction, according to Brooks, and failure to transmit this creed through our rituals--like standing and singing the National Anthem--will compromise our sense of solidarity at a time when we desperately need to keep in mind that "we are all in this together." As a professor of American history who specializes both in religious history and in the African-American experience, I find serious sho ...
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Huffington Post article
Week In Politics: Ryan Endorses Trump, Clinton's Foreign Policy Speech
NPR - 9 months
NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with our regular political commentators, EJ Dionne of the Washington Post and the Brookings Institution and David Brooks of the New York Times. They discuss House Speaker Paul Ryan's endorsement of Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton's speech criticizing Trump on foreign policy.
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NPR article
Republican Post-Civil Rights Racism - From a Whisper, to an Obama-induced Scream
Huffington Post - 9 months
The election of a black President induced Republicans to throw gasoline on the racist kindling they've nurtured for decades. When democrats became the party of equal rights for blacks in the mid-sixties, racists sought a new home. They found it with Republicans; and Republicans have been quite mindful of that audience ever since. Republicans recognized in the mid-sixties that the American Id--which lives in everyone raised within American history and culture--is a Klansman. Modern Republicans provoke that Id like lap dances provoke erections--and with just as much class. During the announcement of his run for the Presidency, Ronald Reagan sang a paean to states' rights down the road from the Philadelphia, Mississippi site where white men savagely murdered three civil rights workers. Establishment Republicans like David Brooks pleaded that Reagan spoke of states' rights often, and did so in a non-racial context. But mentioning states' rights in a non-racial context is like si ...
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Huffington Post article
Does Facebook Make You Narrow-Minded?
Huffington Post - 9 months
That's the thrust of Frank Bruni's thoughtful column in the New York Times where he references social psychologists to assert that we're turning into "culturally and ideologically inflexible tribes." By bookmarking given blogs and personalizing social-media feeds, we customize the news we consume and the political beliefs we're exposed to as never before. And this colors our days, or rather bleeds them of color, reducing them to a single hue. We construct precisely contoured echo chambers of affirmation that turn conviction into zeal, passion into fury, disagreements with the other side into the demonization of it. Yes, we've all seen that kind of Facebook free-for-all, most recently between the Sanders and Clinton camps--though it can be about anything and happen within minutes. But before Facebook was so popular, how many people who use it ever bothered to read editorials expressing political opinions opposite of their own? How many Fox News watchers, for instance, spe ...
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Huffington Post article
David Brooks Is Wrong Again -- Trump's Rise Is Not 'Anti-Politics' but the Cancer of Big Money
Huffington Post - 12 months
In his latest column, "The Governing Cancer of Our Times," New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks tries to explain Donald Trump's rise as a presidential candidate. The cancer Brooks refers to is not Trump himself but what he calls "anti-politics." Brooks didn't invent this term but he uses it to advance ideas he's been pushing for many years, and some of those ideas have merit. Brooks observes that in a diverse society, "[t]here are essentially two ways to maintain order and get things done in such a society -- politics or some form of dictatorship. Either through compromise or brute force." Politics, he correctly points out, involves compromise among interests that respect each other's right to exist and agree to play by the same rules. It involves debate and dialogue. Brooks laments that in American politics, we no longer seem to be able to engage in rational debate, engage in compromise, and agree to disagree by following the same rules. In frustration, Brooks note ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of David Brooks
    FIFTIES
  • 2016
    Age 54
    In 2016, James Taranto criticized Brooks' analysis of a U.S. Supreme Court case, writing that "Brooks’s treatment of this case is either deliberately deceptive or recklessly ignorant."
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    In regards to the 2016 election, Brooks has spoken in support of Hillary Clinton, applauding her ability to be “competent” and “normal” in comparison to her Republican counterpart, Donald Trump.
    More Details Hide Details In addition, Brooks has noted that he believes Clinton will eventually become victorious in the election, as he foresees the general American public becoming “sick” of Donald Trump. When discussing the political emergence of Trump, Brooks has been strong is his critiques of the candidate, most notably by authoring a New York Times op-ed he titled “No, Not Trump, Not Ever”. In this piece, Brooks attacked Trump by arguing he is “is epically unprepared to be president” and by pointing out Trump’s “steady obliviousness to accuracy”. Brooks opposes what he sees as self-destructive behavior, such as the prevalence of teenage sex and divorce. His view is that "sex is more explicit everywhere barring real life. As the entertainment media have become more sex-saturated, American teenagers have become more sexually abstemious" by "waiting longer to have sex and having fewer partners." He sees the culture war as nearly over, because "today's young people seem happy with the frankness of the left and the wholesomeness of the right." As a result, he is optimistic about the United States' social stability, which he considers to be "in the middle of an amazing moment of improvement and repair."
    However, in a February 2016 New York Times Op-Ed, Brooks admitted that he missed Obama during the 2016 primary season, admiring the president's "integrity" and "humanity" among other characteristics.
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  • 2015
    Age 53
    Brooks said during a February 2015 interview with Brian Lamb that he and his wife are divorced.
    More Details Hide Details According to The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, in a September 2014 interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Brooks revealed that his oldest son serves in the Israel Defense Forces.
    Brooks later said the article made him feel that "I suck I can’t remember what I said but my mother told me I was extremely stupid.” In 2015, Salon found that Brooks had got 'nearly every detail' wrong about a poll of high-school students.
    More Details Hide Details Michael Kinsley argued that Brooks was guilty of "fearless generalizing... Brooks does not let the sociology get in the way of the shtick, and he wields a mean shoehorn when he needs the theory to fit the joke." Writing for Gawker, which has consistently criticised Brooks' work, opinion writer Tom Scocca argued that Brooks' career since 2004 had been marked by supporting political stands based on moral judgments and disdaining those citing evidence or statistical research, noting that "possibly that is because he perceives facts and statistics as an opportunity to work mischief." Furthermore, Annie Lowrey, in writing for the New York Magazine, criticized Brooks’ statistical methods when arguing his stance on political reform, claiming he used “some very tricksy, misleading math”. Additionally, Sean Illing of Slate criticized the same article from Brooks, claiming Brooks argued his point by framing his sources’ arguments out of context and routinely making bold “half-right” assumptions regarding the controversial issue of poverty reform.
    In 2015, Brooks issued his commentary on poverty reform in the United States.
    More Details Hide Details His op-ed in The New York Times titled “The Nature of Poverty” specifically followed the social uproar caused by the Freddie Grey death, and concluded that federal spending is not the issue impeding the progress of poverty reforms, but rather that the impediments to upward mobility are “matters of social psychology”. When discussing Freddie Grey in particular, Brooks claimed that Grey as a young man was “not on the path to upward mobility”.
    In 2015, Brooks wrote that "from the current vantage point, the decision to go to war was a clear misjudgment" made in 2003 by President Bush and the majority of Americans who supported the war, including Brooks himself.
    More Details Hide Details Brooks wrote "many of us thought that, by taking down Saddam Hussein, we could end another evil empire, and gradually open up human development in Iraq and the Arab world. Has that happened? In 2004, I would have said yes. In 2006, I would have said no. In 2015, I say yes and no, but mostly no." Citing the Robb-Silberman report, Brooks rejected as a "fable" the idea that "intelligence about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was all cooked by political pressure, that there was a big political conspiracy to lie us into war." Instead, Brooks viewed the war as a product of faulty intelligence, writing that "the Iraq war error reminds us of the need for epistemological modesty." His dismissal of the conviction of Scooter Libby as being "a farce" and having "no significance" was derided by political blogger Andrew Sullivan.
  • 2012
    Age 50
    In 2012, Brooks was elected to the University of Chicago Board of Trustees.
    More Details Hide Details He also serves on the Board of Advisors for the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. Ottawa Citizen conservative commentator David Warren has identified Brooks as a "sophisticated pundit" one of "those Republicans who want to 'engage with' the liberal agenda." When asked what he thinks of charges that he's "not a real conservative" or "squishy," Brooks has said that, "if you define conservative by support for the Republican candidate or the belief that tax cuts are the correct answer to all problems, I guess I don’t fit that agenda. But I do think that I’m part of a longstanding conservative tradition that has to do with Edmund Burke... and Alexander Hamilton." In fact, Brooks read Edmund Burke's work while he was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago and "completely despised it," but "gradually over the next five to seven years came to agree with him." Brooks claims that "my visceral hatred was because he touched something I didn't like or know about myself." In September 2012, Brooks talked about being criticized from the conservative side, saying, "If it’s from a loon, I don’t mind it. I get a kick out of it. If it’s Michelle Malkin attacking, I don’t mind it." With respect to whether he was "the liberals' favorite conservative" Brooks said he "didn't care," stating that "I don’t mind liberals praising me, but when it’s the really partisan liberals, you get an avalanche of love, it’s like uhhh, I gotta rethink this."
  • FORTIES
  • 2011
    Age 49
    However, in December 2011, during a CSPAN interview, Brooks' expressed a more tempered opinion of Obama's presidency, giving Obama only a "B-" rating, and saying that Obama's chances of re-election would be less than 50-50 if elections were held at that time.
    More Details Hide Details He stated, "I don't think he's integrated himself with people in Washington as much as he should have."
  • 2010
    Age 48
    In writing for The New York Times in January 2010, Brooks described Israel as "an astonishing success story".
    More Details Hide Details He wrote that "Jews are a famously accomplished group," who, because they were "forced to give up farming in the Middle Ages... have been living off their wits ever since". In Brooks' view, "Israel’s technological success is the fruition of the Zionist dream. The country was not founded so stray settlers could sit among thousands of angry Palestinians in Hebron. It was founded so Jews would have a safe place to come together and create things for the world."
  • 2009
    Age 47
    Brooks has frequently expressed admiration for President Barack Obama. In an August 2009, profile of Brooks, The New Republic describes his first encounter with Obama, in the spring of 2005: "Usually when I talk to senators, while they may know a policy area better than me, they generally don’t know political philosophy better than me.
    More Details Hide Details I got the sense he knew both better than me. I remember distinctly an image of--we were sitting on his couches, and I was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant, and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.” Brooks appreciates that Obama thinks "like a writer," explaining, "He's a very writerly personality, a little aloof, exasperated. He's calm. He's not addicted to people." Two days after Obama’s second autobiography, The Audacity of Hope, hit bookstores, Brooks published a column in The New York Times, titled "Run, Barack, Run", urging the Chicago politician to run for president.
  • 2007
    Age 45
    In a March 2007, article published in The New York Times titled "No U-Turns", Brooks explained that the Republican Party must distance itself from the minimal-government conservative principles that had arisen during the Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan eras.
    More Details Hide Details He claims that these core concepts had served their purposes and should no longer be embraced by Republicans in order to win elections. Alex Pareene commented that Brooks "has been trying for so long to imagine a sensible Republican Party into existence that he can’t still think it’s going to happen soon."
  • 2006
    Age 44
    On August 10, 2006, Brooks wrote a column for The New York Times entitled "Party No. 3".
    More Details Hide Details The column proposed the idea of the McCain-Lieberman Party, or the fictional representation of the fictional moderate majority in America. Brooks has long been a supporter of John McCain; however, he disliked McCain's 2008 running mate, Sarah Palin, calling her a "cancer" on the Republican Party. He has referred to her as a "joke," unlikely ever to win the Republican nomination. But he later admitted during a C-SPAN interview that he had gone too far in his previous "cancer" comments about Palin, which he regretted, and simply stated he was not a fan of her values.
  • 2005
    Age 43
    In 2005, Brooks wrote what columnist Jonathan Chait described as "a witheringly condescending column" portraying Senator Harry Reid "as an unhinged conspiracy theorist because he accused the W.
    More Details Hide Details Bush administration of falsifying its Iraq intelligence." By 2008, five years into the war, Brooks maintained that the decision to go to war was correct, but that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had botched U.S. war efforts.
  • 2003
    Age 41
    As early as 2003, Brooks wrote favorably of same-sex marriage, pointing out that marriage is a traditional conservative value.
    More Details Hide Details Rather than opposing it, he wrote: "We should insist on gay marriage. We should regard it as scandalous that two people could claim to love each other and not want to sanctify their love with marriage and fidelity. It's going to be up to conservatives to make the important, moral case for marriage, including gay marriage." Brooks also takes a moderate position on abortion, which he thinks should be legal, but with parental consent for minors, during the first four or five months, and illegal afterward, except in extremely rare circumstances. (New York Times, April 22, 2002) On the legalization of drugs, he has expressed opposition to the liberalization of marijuana, advocating that it encourages morally reprovable behavior. Brooks relates that he smoked it in his youth but quit after a humiliating incident: Brooks smoked marijuana during lunch hour at school and felt embarrassed during a class presentation that afternoon in which he says he was incapable of intelligible speech.
    Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Brooks argued forcefully for American military intervention, echoing the belief of commentators and political figures that American and British forces would be welcomed as liberators.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 2000
    Age 38
    In 2000, Brooks published a book of cultural commentary titled Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There to considerable acclaim.
    More Details Hide Details The book, a paean to consumerism, argued that the new managerial or "new upper class" represents a marriage between the liberal idealism of the 1960s and the self-interest of the 1980s. According to a 2010 article in New York Magazine written by Christopher Beam, New York Times editorial-page editor Gail Collins called Brooks in 2003 and invited him to lunch. Collins was looking for a conservative to replace outgoing columnist William Safire, but one who understood how liberals think. “I was looking for the kind of conservative writer that wouldn’t make our readers shriek and throw the paper out the window,” says Collins. “He was perfect.” Brooks started writing in September 2003. “The first six months were miserable,” Brooks says. “I’d never been hated on a mass scale before.” In 2004, Brooks' book On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense was published as a sequel to his 2000 best seller, Bobos in Paradise, but it was not as well received as its predecessor. Brooks is also the volume editor of The Best American Essays (publication date October 2, 2012), and he authored The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement. The book was excerpted in The New Yorker magazine in January 2011 and received mixed reviews upon its full publication, by Random House, in March of that year. The book has been a commercial success, reaching the #3 spot on the Publishers Weekly best-sellers list for non-fiction in April 2011.
  • 1996
    Age 34
    In 1996, he edited an anthology, Backward and Upward: The New Conservative Writing.
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  • 1994
    Age 32
    On his return, Brooks joined the neo-conservative Weekly Standard when it was launched in 1994–95.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1990
    Age 28
    From 1990–94, The Wall Street Journal posted Brooks as an op-ed columnist to Brussels, whence he covered Russia (making numerous trips to Moscow); the Middle East; South Africa; and European affairs.
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  • 1986
    Age 24
    In 1986, Brooks was hired by the Wall Street Journal, where he worked first as an editor of the book review section, enlisting William Kristol to review Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind, which catapulted that book to national prominence.
    More Details Hide Details He also filled in for five months as a movie critic.
  • 1984
    Age 22
    Upon graduation, Brooks became a police reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago, a wire service owned jointly by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times. He says that his experience on Chicago's crime beat had a conservatizing influence on him In 1984, mindful of the offer he had previously received from William F. Buckley, Brooks applied and was accepted as an intern on Buckley's National Review.
    More Details Hide Details According to Christopher Beam, the internship included an all-access pass to the affluent life style that Brooks had previously mocked, including yachting expeditions; Bach concerts; dinners at Buckley’s Park Avenue apartment and villa in Stamford, Connecticut; and a constant stream of writers, politicians, and celebrities. Brooks was an outsider in more ways than his relative inexperience. National Review was a Catholic magazine, and Brooks is not Catholic. Sam Tanenhaus later reported in The New Republic that Buckley might have eventually named Brooks his successor if it hadn’t been for his being Jewish. “If true, it would be upsetting,” Brooks says. After his internship with Buckley ended, Brooks spent some time at the conservative Hoover Institute at Stanford University and then got a job writing movie reviews for the Washington Times.
  • 1983
    Age 21
    In 1983, Brooks graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in history.
    More Details Hide Details His senior thesis was on popular science writer Robert Ardrey. As an undergraduate, Brooks frequently contributed reviews and satirical pieces to campus publications. His senior year, he wrote a spoof of the lifestyle of wealthy conservative William F. Buckley Jr., who was scheduled to speak at the university: "In the afternoons he is in the habit of going into crowded rooms and making everybody else feel inferior. The evenings are reserved for extended bouts of name-dropping." To his piece, Brooks appended the note: “Some would say I’m envious of Mr. Buckley. But if truth be known, I just want a job and have a peculiar way of asking. So how about it, Billy? Can you spare a dime?” When Buckley arrived to give his talk, he asked whether Brooks was in the lecture audience and offered him a job.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1979
    Age 17
    He graduated from Radnor High School in 1979.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1961
    Born
    Born on August 11, 1961.
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