The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life
David Brooks (Author)
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Description#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - Everybody tells you to live for a cause larger than yourself, but how exactly do you do it? The author of The Road to Character explores what it takes to lead a meaningful life in a self-centered world. "Deeply moving, frequently eloquent and extraordinarily incisive."--The Washington Post Every so often, you meet people who radiate joy--who seem to know why they were put on this earth, who glow with a kind of inner light. Life, for these people, has often followed what we might think of as a two-mountain shape. They get out of school, they start a career, and they begin climbing the mountain they thought they were meant to climb. Their goals on this first mountain are the ones our culture endorses: to be a success, to make your mark, to experience personal happiness. But when they get to the top of that mountain, something happens. They look around and find the view . . . unsatisfying. They realize: This wasn't my mountain after all. There's another, bigger mountain out there that is actually my mountain. And so they embark on a new journey. On the second mountain, life moves from self-centered to other-centered. They want the things that are truly worth wanting, not the things other people tell them to want. They embrace a life of interdependence, not independence. They surrender to a life of commitment. In The Second Mountain, David Brooks explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. Our personal fulfillment depends on how well we choose and execute these commitments. Brooks looks at a range of people who have lived joyous, committed lives, and who have embraced the necessity and beauty of dependence. He gathers their wisdom on how to choose a partner, how to pick a vocation, how to live out a philosophy, and how we can begin to integrate our commitments into one overriding purpose. In short, this book is meant to help us all lead more meaningful lives. But it's also a provocative social commentary. We live in a society, Brooks argues, that celebrates freedom, that tells us to be true to ourselves, at the expense of surrendering to a cause, rooting ourselves in a neighborhood, binding ourselves to others by social solidarity and love. We have taken individualism to the extreme--and in the process we have torn the social fabric in a thousand different ways. The path to repair is through making deeper commitments. In The Second Mountain, Brooks shows what can happen when we put commitment-making at the center of our lives.
April 16, 2019
6.4 X 1.3 X 9.3 inches | 1.4 pounds
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About the Author
David Brooks is one of the nation's leading writers and commentators. He is an op-ed columnist for The New York Times and appears regularly on PBS NewsHour and Meet the Press. He is the bestselling author of The Road to Character; The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement; Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There; and On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (and Always Have) in the Future Tense.
Praise for David Brooks "David Brooks's gift--as he might put it in his swift, engaging way--is for making obscure but potent social studies research accessible and even startling."--The New York Times Book Review "At his best, Brooks is a normative version of Malcolm Gladwell, culling from a wide array of scientists and thinkers to weave an idea bigger than the sum of its parts."--USA Today "Brooks's considerable achievement comes in his ability to elevate the unseen aspects of private experience into a vigorous and challenging conversation about what we all share."--San Francisco Chronicle