The Evolution of David Brooks

August, 16 2016

David Brooks, that rare New York Times columnist equally criticized by liberals and conservatives alike, was born in Toronto, Canada. His father’s college teaching jobs brought the family to New York City and Philadelphia before Brooks headed off to college at the University of Chicago, where he caught the attention of William F. Buckley. After graduation, Brooks worked as a reporter for the City News Bureau, a Chicago wire service. He left for a job at Buckley’s National Review, where he made the jump to opinion journalism. Later, he edited book reviews and op-eds at The Wall Street Journal before moving on to The Weekly Standard.

Brooks began his tenure as a columnist for the op-ed page of The New York Times in 2003. There were liberal readers who bristled over every column—even those that swept aside evanescent political issues in favor of exploring broader themes of American culture. And from the right, there were conservatives who viewed Brooks as an apostate—a closet liberal, even…


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