David Brooks (journalist)

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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, though his views are considerably different from those of some other conservatives.

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 later served as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and has since been a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, 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 conservative 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.

Contents

Brooks in the political spectrum

Brooks describes himself as being originally a liberal. In 1983 for example he wrote in 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, in which, according to Brooks, Friedman made a "two-sentence rebuttal which totally devastated my point".

Social views

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." This view contrasts starkly with the views of other conservative groups like the Concerned Women For America and Focus on the Family[1] (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/17/opinion/17brooks.html?hp=&pagewanted=print&position=).

Partial bibliography

  • On Paradise Drive : How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense (2004) ISBN 0743227387
  • Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There (2000) ISBN 0684853779

See also

External links

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