David Brooks Is Brilliant (and Prescient)

Posted By on April 23, 2009

New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks knows of what he speaks. Last month he wrote an elegiac piece called “The Commercial Republic.” In it, he posits that historically America has unabashedly pursued success and the byproduct of hard work and risk-taking, wealth—that, in fact, it is part of our national genetic code. I couldn’t agree more. Brooks writes,

From Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton, through Horatio Alger and Norman Vincent Peale, up until Donald Trump and Jim Cramer, popular figures have always emerged to champion the American gospel of success, encouraging middle-class people to strive, risk and make money.

He points out that sadly we are in what he calls a noncommercial moment, when the media are full of downbeat stories exploring the downfall of the American economy, with more than a little schadenfreude for the wealthy figures who have been brought low. But, he says, “if there is one thing to be sure of, this pause will not last. The cultural DNA of the past 400 years will not be erased. The pendulum will swing hard. The gospel of success will recapture the imagination.”

He goes on to say that “somewhere right now there’s probably a smart publisher searching for the most unabashed, ambitious, pro-wealth, pro-success manuscript she can find, and in about three months she’ll pile it up in the nation’s bookstores.” Well, David, neither you nor America will have to wait three months for such a book. It comes out on May 4 from the Business Plus imprint of Hachette—a smart publisher that has done extremely well during this economic crisis—and it’s called The Richest Man in Town. It proves the American Dream lives—after all, it’s in our DNA.

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About The Author

W. Randall Jones is the author of The Richest Man in Town. Visit the About W. Randall Jones and About The Richest Man in Town pages to learn more.