David Brooks



David Brooks (born August 11, 1961) is a columnist for The New York Times who has become one of the prominent voices of conservative politics in the United States.

David Brooks was born in Toronto and grew up in New York City in Stuyvesant Town. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1983 with a degree in history. Brooks served as 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 a commentator on NPR and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

He has written a book of cultural commentary titled Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There. Brooks also writes articles and makes television appearances as a commentator on various trends in pop culture, such as internet dating. His newest book is entitled On Paradise Drive : How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense.

Before the Second Gulf War, Brooks had argued forcefully on moral grounds for American military intervention in Iraq, echoing the belief of neoconservative commentators and political figures that American and British forces would be welcomed as liberators. However, some of his opinion pieces in the spring of 2004 suggested that he had tempered somewhat his earlier optimism about the war.

David Brooks is teaching a course at Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy in the fall of 2006.

Brooks describes himself as being originally a liberal. In 1983, for example, he wrote a parody of conservative pundit William F. Buckley, Jr. :

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. (University of Chicago Maroon, April 5, 1983.)

A turning point in Brooks' thinking came later that year in a televised debate with Milton Friedman, which, as Brooks describes it, "was essentially me making a point, and he making a two-sentence rebuttal which totally devastated my point."

On August 10, 2006, Brooks wrote a column for the New York Times titled "Party No. 3". The column proposed the idea of the McCain-Lieberman Party, or the fictional representation of the moderate majority in America. (This was a reversal of his previous view of the political middle from his May 22, 2005 column, "The Senate's Quavering Middle", where he described centrists as "well-intentioned roadkill", said they "shrink from pressure" and "lack spirit to take risks, to actually lead." He concluded: "No more sweetheart press for the responsible middle. Put up or shut up.")

Though he opposes what he sees as self-destructive behavior like teenage sex and divorce, Brooks is not a culture warrior in the traditional sense. His view is that "sex is more explicit everywhere...except in 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." (New York Times, April 17, 2005, 4-14.)

Brooks also broke with many in the conservative movement when, in late 2003, he came out in favor of same-sex marriage in his New York Times column. He equated the idea with traditional conservative values: "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." (New York Times, November 22, 2003, A-15.)

Partial bibliography

* On Paradise Drive : How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense (2004) ISBN 0-7432-2738-7
* Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There (2000) ISBN 0-684-85377-9Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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