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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of The Road to Character by David Brooks, read by Arthur Morey and David Brooks.

Number one New York Times best seller

In The Road to Character, David Brooks, best-selling author of The Social Animal and New York Times columnist, explains why selflessness leads to greater success.

We all possess two natures. One focuses on external success: wealth, fame, status and a great career. The other aims for internal goodness, driven by a spiritual urge not only to do good but to be good - honest, loving and steadfast. The inner self doesn't seek happiness superficially defined; it seeks emotional commitments without counting the cost and a deeper moral joy. Individuals and societies thrive when a general balance is struck between these two imperatives, but we live in a culture that encourages us to think about the external side of our nature rather than the inner self. We hanker for praise instead of following our hearts, and we self-promote rather than confront our weaknesses.

In this urgent and eye-opening audiobook, David Brooks asks us to confront the meaning of true fulfilment. A famous columnist for The New York Times and a best-selling author, Brooks found himself living in a shallow mode. For years he remained focused on getting ahead and reaping the rewards for his efforts, placing his career before his character.

Finding himself at a crossroads, Brooks sought out men and women who embodied the moral courage he longed to experience. Citing an array of history's greatest thinkers and leaders - from St. Augustine and George Eliot to Dwight Eisenhower and Samuel Johnson - he traces how they were able to face their weaknesses and transcend their flaws. Each one of them chose to embrace one simple but counterintuitive truth: in order to fulfil yourself, you must learn how to forget yourself.

An elegant interweaving of politics, spirituality and psychology, The Road to Character proves that it is how we want to be remembered - and not what we put on our CVs - that truly matters.

©2016 David Brooks (P)2016 Penguin AudioBooks

What members say

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Strucked a chord

I really enjoyed the book. The book is well researched and at times you can feel the struggle of the characters so well the stories are told. David Brooks can take a whole chapter and at times sum it up brilliantly in one sentence. Definitely recommend it to people who are searching for purpose, the book won't give purpose to you but you will realize that your struggle is real. And if you ever wonder why social media is not your thing, it might be because you are looking for more! Brilliant

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Geraint
  • 05-13-17

Overpromises

Sounds like it will be something more general, but quickly descends into religious gobbledegook. Two stars because at least the biographies were competent enough and covered a reasonable variety, even if they were very US-centric. The reading is also very slow; I rarely listen at high speed but this required 1.5x or quicker to be bearable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • A. S. Wade
  • 02-08-18

Good but rambling

I Liked the gist but overlong and a bit rambling. There were some standout character biographies which I found fascinating including Augustine but difficult to remember all others. Found it hard at points to understand where he was going. summary at end is good and ties things up well.

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  • S. Evans
  • 10-30-17

A wonderful book and beautifully read.<br />

A very profound and meditative experience, much to think about. I expect to return to the book and buy a copy too.

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  • maciekk
  • 11-30-16

a few stories that shifted my mindset

in the times of 'I' I read about times when 'Them' was important and 'I' was out of focus

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • rebekah
  • 12-15-17

Overly religious American sentiment

No real advice here. Outdated sentiment. Perhaps a few interesting stories of US historical figures. Religious overtones.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-30-17

Thought provoking

fantastic critic of the changes in our society over the last 50 years, very stimulating and thought provoking

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  • odailson
  • 01-18-17

great book

i have enjoyed listening this book and learning the big ideas and its main purpose to inspire in the listener/ reader the desire to pursue character rather than skills. great book with great ideas and concepts. well articulated and presented. some of the stories used were of people that have displayed and excel on certain character traits but failed in others. i found them no to be good examples.

my thoughts