Brooks on Books

So much for David Brooks’s recent pledge to break out of his bourgeois bubble and speak with real people. He’s back to telling us about obscure sociology books he’s read.
Is David Brooks unable to bring his own observations and insights to an issue? Why must he always rely on someone else’s thinking?
These columns are book reviews. They should be in the Books section of the paper. Call it “Brooks on Books.”
The Times needs to replace him with someone who can bring an original thought to the discussion. I’m available!

Some Famous Quotes Revisited, Part 1

  • “We came, we saw, we got back in the car.” Julius Caesar.
  • “A rising tide is gonna drown those boogie boarders out there.” John F. Kennedy. Alternatively A Nation at Risk.
  • “Beauty is only skin deep. But ugliness goes right to the bone.” Donald Trump.
  • “What does not kill me makes me stronger, assuming I’m able to get past the trauma of that near-death experience.” Friedrich Nietzsche.
  • “We’ll burn that bridge when we get to it.” Various, principally Alphonse Q. DeGuerin.

Notwithstanding What I JUST Said …

Good to see Brooks is getting out among the regular folk, just like he said he would do last week. Here, he went to Lansing, W. Va., to cite the scholarship of:

• Sheena Iyengar
• Chip Heath and Dan Heath
• Suzy Welch
• Daniel Kahneman
• Cass Sunstein
• Dan Ariely
• others who study the way we mess up and the techniques we can adopt to prevent error
• Sendhil Mullainathan
• Eldar Shafir

As far as I can tell, the only reason for going to West Virginia to write this column is so that he could use the byline to create the phony impression that he’s breaking out of his “bourgeois strata.”
Brooks isn’t an original writer. He’s an aggregator.