The Second Mountain

By David Brooks,

Book cover of The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life

Book 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…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Second Mountain as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Brooks is interested in what makes for a good society and how we as individuals can lead moral, principled lives that benefit others. This must be a subject of interest to everyone but I think has a particular application for writers trying to portray men and women of character and moral purpose. In Brooks’ metaphor the first mountain consists of career, family, wealth, reputation, and everything you would put into your CV. The second mountain is what they might say about you after you die when none of that matters anymore. The issue now is character not achievements. Were you…

David Brooks presents a model of two steps in a person's life. The first, striving for identity, building a career, chasing one’s idea of success, starting relationships, and perhaps a family.

The second, finding a new level of enlightenment through finding a deeper, more comprehensive purpose while serving society through broader relationships and motivations.

Brooks gives us a model for the second mountain by making four major commitments: vocation, marriage, philosophy, faith, and community.

My book could be considered a case study for Brooks. We both faced disillusionment in our first mountain, hit bottom, and ultimately found a new path.

From Grant's list on disillusionment and transformation.

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