Review: The Road To Character

My general belief is that we’ve accidentally left this moral tradition behind. Over the last several decades, we’ve lost this language, this way of organizing life. We’re not bad. But we are morally inarticulate. We’re not more selfish or venal than people in other times, but we’ve lost the understanding of how character is built. – David Brooks

If I could shove one book into the hands of most everyone I know and demand they read it, it would be NY Times columnist and pundit David Brooks’ The Road To Character (Random House, 2015). Of course, Brooks would say that forcing books on people would demonstrate a stunning lack of character on my part. He’d be right. So instead I’m going to tell you why I admired this book, and ask you politely (please and thank you) to buy or borrow it for yourself. The book has provoked self-reflection even among those who were chafed a bit by Brooks’ analysis. Others have been challenged by his thoughtful insightsabout the way in which character is developed and exercised.

He references the categories in Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik’s 1965 book Lonely Man Of Faith in order to give his readers a sense of the way in which he understands moral development… [Read more]

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