InThe Road to Character, David Brooks, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, leads readers on a personal journey while trying to apply inspiring lessons of history. He divides humanity into “Adam I,” who seeks success in the world (“résumé virtues”), and “Adam II,” more deeply committed to the inner life (“eulogy virtues”).
Through 10 major biographical sketches ranging from St. Augustine to George Eliot, Brooks’s characters confront a core sin and discover a way to beat it. In so doing they show how strength comes from their weakest places, serving as models for us. In a study of virtue and character, Brooks reminds us of the age-old moral vocabulary by drawing on classic categories like sin, vocation, and grace—which he tries to humanize and secularize.
Uneasy with the “culture of Big Me,” Brooks shows how human nature has evolved from the classical era to the age of social media and the selfie stick. (Random House)