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On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense

Wednesday June 2004


David Brooks The New York Times

Introductory Remarks: William F. Buckley, Jr., Editor-at-Large, National Review

In his previous book, Bobos in Paradise, David Brooks described with insight and humor the emerging cultural upscale Americans. Now Brooks, in On Paradise Drive, takes a witty look at the middle-class mentality that makes this country the most manic and discombobulating of nations.

Many around the world see Americans as shallow—the “great bimbo” of nations. But Brooks probes deeper and finds that Americans behave as they do because they’re “under the spell of paradise.” We are the inheritors of a sense of limitless possibilities—raised to think in the future tense and taught to strive toward the happiness we naturally accept, the fulfillment of our dreams.