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Publisher Description

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Everybody tells you to live for a cause larger than yourself, but how exactly do you do it? The author of The Road to Character explores what it takes to lead a meaningful life in a self-centered world.

“Deeply moving, frequently eloquent and extraordinarily incisive.”—The Washington Post

Every so often, you meet people who radiate joy—who seem to know why they were put on this earth, who glow with a kind of inner light. Life, for these people, has often followed what we might think of as a two-mountain shape. They get out of school, they start a career, and they begin climbing the mountain they thought they were meant to climb. Their goals on this first mountain are the ones our culture endorses: to be a success, to make your mark, to experience personal happiness. But when they get to the top of that mountain, something happens. They look around and find the view . . . unsatisfying. They realize: This wasn’t my mountain after all. There’s another, bigger mountain out there that is actually my mountain.

And so they embark on a new journey. On the second mountain, life moves from self-centered to other-centered. They want the things that are truly worth wanting, not the things other people tell them to want. They embrace a life of interdependence, not independence. They surrender to a life of commitment.

In The Second Mountain, David 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. Our personal fulfillment depends on how well we choose and execute these commitments. Brooks looks at a range of people who have lived joyous, committed lives, and who have embraced the necessity and beauty of dependence. He gathers their wisdom on how to choose a partner, how to pick a vocation, how to live out a philosophy, and how we can begin to integrate our commitments into one overriding purpose.

In short, this book is meant to help us all lead more meaningful lives. But it’s also a provocative social commentary. We live in a society, Brooks argues, that celebrates freedom, that tells us to be true to ourselves, at the expense of surrendering to a cause, rooting ourselves in a neighborhood, binding ourselves to others by social solidarity and love. We have taken individualism to the extreme—and in the process we have torn the social fabric in a thousand different ways. The path to repair is through making deeper commitments. In The Second Mountain, Brooks shows what can happen when we put commitment-making at the center of our lives.

Arthur Morey
hr min
April 16
Random House Audio

Customer Reviews

Ignissus Firebrand ,

The Best Perspective On Humanity I Have Ever Read

This is the kind of book that pushes me to re-examine the commitments and purposes I have set out to put my efforts towards. The Second Mountain is the ultimate, unbiased and successful attempt at examining the true purpose and meaning of sociological human relations I have ever laid my my hands on. I feel like every American should have the pleasure of learning how Brooks’ understanding of sociology can affect every aspect of how contemplative people view the communities they find themselves in. To put it simply: Brooks helps me feel more human in a world marred by ever-changing morals and values. A must read!!

PaperbackWriter21 ,

Would not recommend the audio book.

I found the pace of this audiobook to be slow and monotone.

I was listening, but not really hearing what the author was trying to say. This was not a cheap book- if I could, I would request a refund.

I heard somebody recommend the book, hence the purchase. The content was... ok.

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