New York Times Columnist, Author David Brooks Will Visit USC Upstate for Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series

February 18, 2022 at 2:37 pm

New York Times columnist and best-selling author David Brooks will be the featured speaker for the 2022 Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, in the University of South Carolina Upstate’s G.B. Hodge Center. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required in advance.

Brooks will deliver a lecture entitled “The State of American Democracy and How You Can Help.”

“USC Upstate is committed to cultivating an inclusive campus environment that embraces our university’s core values of wellness, equity and civility,” said USC Upstate Chancellor Bennie Harris. “We are delighted to bring David Brooks to the Upstate and excited to provide our students and community with an opportunity to hear his insight and perspective based on his vast journalistic experience and leadership on the national stage.”

As an op-ed columnist, a commentator for PBS NewsHour, and a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly, Brooks brings an insightful perspective to politics and social issues. He provides astute commentary on the domestic and foreign policy issues of our day, often framing them within the context of the dynamics in American society. 

Brooks’ New York Timesbestseller “The Road to Charac­ter” explains why selflessness leads to greater success. He tells the story of 10 great lives that illustrate how char­acter is developed, and how we can all strive to build rich inner lives, marked by humility and moral depth. “The Road to Character” is a book about inner worth in a soci­ety that emphasizes success and external achievement.

In his most recent book “The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life” (Random House), 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.

His previous book “The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement” uses the story of a fictional American couple to explain the importance of neuroscience and sociology in understanding America’s politics, culture, and future. His other books, “Bobos in Paradise”and “On Paradise Drive”are in a style he calls “comic sociology”—descriptions of how we live and “the water we swim in” that are as witty and entertaining as they are revealing and insightful. “Bobos in Paradise” was a New York Timesbestseller.

Brooks is a graduate of the University of Chicago and currently is teaching a course at Yale University. He holds honorary degrees from Williams College, New York University, Brandeis University, and Occidental College, among others. In 2010, Brooks became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“David Brooks provides keen insight on the most important political issues confronting our country today,” said Dr. Rob McCormick, professor of history at USC Upstate. “Through a lens of social commentary, Brooks forces us to think about American democracy in new and important ways.”

Sponsored by the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy, and American Studies at USC Upstate, the Edmunds Distinguished Lecture Series is in its eighth year. The series has previously hosted speakers such as Jon Meacham, Bob Woodward, David McCullough, James Stavridis, Rick Atkinson, and Peggy Noonan.

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