The disillusionment of David Brooks


Manage episode 232569565 series 118651
By Vox Media Podcast Network and Vox. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
2013 was David Brooks’s worst year. “The realities that used to define my life fell away,” he says. His marriage ended. His children moved out. The conservative movement was undergoing the crack-up that would lead to Donald Trump, and to Brooks’s excommunication.
For Brooks, the past few years have been a radicalization. His new book, The Second Mountain, is an effort to work out a more service- and community-oriented definition of the good life. But on a deeper level, it’s a searing critique of meritocracy, of productivity, and, as I try to get him to admit in this podcast, of capitalism itself. But is Brooks really willing to embrace what that critique demands?
If you liked the “Work as identity, burnout as lifestyle” episode a few weeks back, you’ll love this one.
Book recommendations:
Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

261 episodes