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David Brooks
Born August 11, 1961 (1961-08-11) (age 48)
Toronto, Ontario
Alma mater University of Chicago (A.B.)
Occupation columnist, pundit
New York Times columns

David Brooks (born August 11, 1961) is an American political and cultural commentator. He is the author of Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There (2000). Brooks served as an editorial writer and film reviewer for the Washington Times,[1] a reporter and later op-ed editor for The Wall Street Journal,[2] a senior editor at The Weekly Standard from its inception, a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly, and a commentator on NPR. He is now a columnist for The New York Times and commentator on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.



Brooks was born in Toronto and grew up in New York City in Stuyvesant Town. He graduated from Radnor High School in Pennsylvania in 1979. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1983 with a degree in history.

He wrote 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 most recent book is entitled On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense.

David Brooks was a visiting professor of public policy at Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, and he taught an undergraduate seminar there in the fall of 2006. [3]

He and his wife live in Bethesda, Maryland. They have three children.

Brooks in the political spectrum

Brooks describes himself as being originally a liberal before "coming to my senses." In 1983, 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.)

Buckley admired the parody and offered Brooks a job with National Review. A turning point in Brooks's 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".[4]

Before the Iraq War, Brooks argued forcefully for American military intervention, echoing the belief of conservative commentators and political figures that American and British forces would be welcomed as liberators. In the spring of 2004, some of his opinion pieces suggested that he had tempered his earlier optimism about the war.

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.[5]

Many in the "conservative movement," such as Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, denounce him as he frequently runs to their left. He has long been a supporter of John McCain; however, Brooks did not show a liking for Governor Sarah Palin, who ran with McCain on the 2008 Republican presidential ticket, calling her a "cancer" on the Republican Party.[6] He recently referred to her as a "joke", unable to ever win the Republican nomination.[7]

In a March 2007 article published in The New York Times titled "No U-Turns",[8] Brooks explains that the Republican Party must distance itself from the minimal-government conservative principles that had arisen during the Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan eras. He claims that these outdated concepts had served their purposes and should no longer be embraced by Republicans in order to win elections.

Breaking with his fellow conservatives, Brooks has been a frequent admirer of President Barack Obama. In an August, 2009 interview with The New Republic, Brooks described 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. I got the sense he knew both better than me. [...] and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.”[9] Two days after Obama’s second autobiography, The Audacity of Hope, hit bookstores, Brooks published a column in The New York Times, urging Obama to run for president. The headline was “Run, Barack, Run”.[10]

Social views

Brooks opposes what he sees as self-destructive behavior like teenage sex and divorce; however, he is not a culture warrior in the traditional sense. 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." (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.)

Regarding women's issues, Brooks is a third-wave feminist. He has also expressed strong support for gun control.

Regarding abortion Brooks has advocated for pro-choice government regulations: abortion would be legal, with parental consent for minors, during the first four or five months, and illegal except in extremely rare circumstances afterward."(New York Times, April 22, 2002.)[11]

Partial bibliography

See also


  1. ^ David Brooks Analyst Bio, Online NewsHour
  2. ^ Columnist Biography: David Brooks, New York Times
  3. ^ Children of Polarization, New York Times, 2/4/2007
  4. ^ Yoe, Mary Ruth (February 2004). "Everybody's a critic". University of Chicago Magazine 96 (3). Retrieved September 11, 2009.  
  5. ^ Brooks, David (August 10, 2006). "Party No. 3". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-16.  
  6. ^ Shea, Danny (October 8, 2008). "David Brooks: Sarah Palin "Represents A Fatal Cancer To The Republican Party"". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2009-02-16.  
  7. ^
  8. ^ Brooks, David (March 3, 2007). "No U-Turns". The New York Times. Retrieved September 13, 2008.  
  9. ^ Sherman, Gabriel (August 31, 2009). "The Courtship: The story behind the Obama-Brooks bromance". The New Republic. Retrieved September 11, 2009.  
  10. ^ Brooks, David (October 19, 2006). The New York Times. Run, Barack, Run. Retrieved September 11, 2009.  
  11. ^ Brooks, David (April 22, 2007). "Postures in Public, Facts in the Womb". The New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2009.  

External links

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