New York Times columnist David Brooks to speak at UNC Asheville, Sept. 12

Press release from UNC Asheville: 

UNC Asheville will present David Brooks, a leading analyst of American culture and politics, in a free public lecture at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12. This event, which will be held in Kimmel Arena on campus, is supported by The David and Lin Brown Visionary Lecture Series and The Van Winkle Law Firm Public Policy Lectures and will be the keynote lecture for UNC Asheville’s Founders Day, a celebration as part of the university’s 90th anniversary. Advance tickets will be available on August 12 at  Doors will open at 6 p.m.

Brooks is regularly featured in The New York Times op-ed pages, where his columns have appeared biweekly since 2003; on NBC’s Meet the Press; on the PBS Newshour, where he discusses politics with liberal counterpoint Mark Shields; and National Public Radio’s news programs, where he is a frequent commentator on All Things Considered.

As a public speaker, Brooks addresses contemporary culture and issues with humor and quiet passion. His commentaries examine American ways of life as a window into present-day politics.

UNC Asheville Chancellor Mary K. Grant said, “Founders Day is an opportunity for our community to come together in celebration of UNC Asheville and the public liberal arts. David Brooks is an important voice in our national discourse, encouraging us to think critically, consider varied opinions, and engage in open conversation – all qualities that stand at the heart of our mission. Many thanks to Dave and Lin Brown and the Van Winkle Law Firm for their generous support of this keynote lecture, and for providing an opportunity to welcome the community to campus for this important lecture.”

After graduating from The University of Chicago in 1983 with a degree in history, Brooks stayed in Chicago to begin his professional career as a police reporter, an experience which he says had a conservatizing influence upon him. The next year, he accepted an internship at the prominent conservative journal, National Review, and then was hired as a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, where he remained for nine years, ultimately becoming editorial page editor. He also was senior editor at The Weekly Standard before accepting his current position with The New York Times.

In addition to his journalism work, Brooks is a senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, and has taught courses at Yale on humility. His thinking on that subject led to his 2015 book, The Road to Character, which he describes as an attempt “to shift the conversation a bit. We live in a culture that focuses on external success … a fast, distracted culture. We’ve lost some of the vocabulary other generations had to describe the inner confrontation with weakness that produces good character. I am hoping this book can help people better understand their own inner lives, their own moral adventures and their own roads to character.”

Brooks’ other books include The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement; On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense; and Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There. Brooks is also the editor of the 1996 anthology, Backward and Upward: The New Conservative Writing. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, The University of Chicago, and on the Board of Advisors of that university’s Institute of Politics.

UNC Asheville’s Kimmel Arena seats approximately 3,200 people for lecture events. As per security protocol, backpacks are not allowed in Kimmel Arena and bags will be checked at the door. No outside food and drink are allowed. For more information, contact UNC Asheville Conference and Events Office at 828-251-6853 or visit

About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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