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  • Published: 18 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9780141990903
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $22.99

The Second Mountain

The Quest for a Moral Life




When did we stop connecting with other people? David Brooks argues that we can only solve our crisis of meaning at an emotional and moral level.

Are you on your first or second mountain? Is life about yourself or others? Are you self-improving or committed?

Mainstream culture teaches us that human beings pursue our self-interest - money, power, fame. But at some point in our life we might discover that we're not interested in what other people tell us to want. We want to want the things that are truly worthy of wanting. At this point, you have moved to your second mountain.

What does it mean to elevate your desires, to look beyond consumption and find a moral cause? To forget about independence and discover dependence - to be utterly enmeshed in a web of warm relationships? What does it mean to want intimacy, devotion, responsibility and commitment above individual freedom? In The Second Mountain David Brooks explores the meaning and possibilities that scaling a second mountain offer us, and the four commitments that most commonly move us there: family, vocation, philosophy and community. Inspiring, personal and full of joy, this is the start of a deeper journey into the world.

  • Published: 18 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9780141990903
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

David Brooks

David Brooks' fourth volume of short fiction, Napoleon's Roads, is in the late stages of preparation, as is his second novel, The Umbrella Club. His most recent book is Walking to Point Clear, a collection of poetry. He teaches Australian Literature at the University of Sydney, and is co-editor of Southerly.

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Praise for The Second Mountain

Potentially life-changing lessons can be found in this relevant and thought-provoking book.

Booklist

Potentially life-changing lessons can be found in this relevant and thought-provoking book.

Booklist

Across more than 300 pages of heartfelt prose, Brooks reworks [the meaning of life] into a neat story . . . Brooks' willingness to be "a little vulnerable" results in a refreshing honest confession . . . There's no top-of-the-mountain moment . . . just a friendly, gentle nudging toward the conclusion that real joy lies in moral commitment.

The Irish Times

Across more than 300 pages of heartfelt prose, Brooks reworks [the meaning of life] into a neat story . . . Brooks' willingness to be "a little vulnerable" results in a refreshing honest confession . . . There's no top-of-the-mountain moment . . . just a friendly, gentle nudging toward the conclusion that real joy lies in moral commitment.

The Irish Times

The book overall, candid about the reality of stress and failure in the author's life, has earned the right to put forward with equal candour the experience of finding, or being found by, faith.

Rowan Williams, The New Statesman

The book overall, candid about the reality of stress and failure in the author's life, has earned the right to put forward with equal candour the experience of finding, or being found by, faith.

Rowan Williams, The New Statesman

Brooks's best book yet ... Powerful ... His stirring new book is a self-help guide to escaping the prison of self.

Oliver Burkeman, The Observer, 'Book of the Day'

Brooks's best book yet ... Powerful ... His stirring new book is a self-help guide to escaping the prison of self.

Oliver Burkeman, The Observer, 'Book of the Day'

Enormously comforting and galvanising ... a better way to live

Pandora Sykes

Enormously comforting and galvanising ... a better way to live

Pandora Sykes

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