David Brooks On Transcending Hate And Loneliness

His new book is a guide to how to connect with people.

Appears in this episode

Andrew Sullivan

David is a long-time columnist for the New York Times. He’s also a commentator on “PBS NewsHour,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Plus he teaches at Yale. His new book is How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen.

You can listen to the episode right away in the audio player above (or on the right side of the player, click “Listen On” to add the Dishcast feed to your favorite podcast app). For two clips of our convo — on how to be a better friend to suffering loved ones, and how loneliness leads to authoritarianism — pop over to our YouTube page.

Other topics: his upbringing in Greenwich Village among intellectuals and gays; his beatnik Jewish parents; his father the NYU professor and his mother with a PhD from Columbia; “not the most emotionally intimate” family; how people shouldn’t separate thinking from emotions; the French Enlightenment; Jungian/Burkean conservatism; Hume; nationalism and King Charles III; Orwell’s “The Lion and the Unicorn”; Disraeli; conservatism and the current GOP as a nihilist cult; Isaiah Berlin; how you’re an “illuminator” or “diminisher” when meeting new people; how most don’t ask questions and instead broadcast themselves; Trump; how Trump supporters are “hard to hate up close”; Hamas and Israel; Hannah Arendt; how to encounter a super woke person; arguments as a form of respect; suppressing your ego for better conversations; Taylor Swift on narcissism; suicidal friends; the distortion of reality when depressed; the AIDS crisis and losing friends; marriage equality; one changing in midlife; Oakeshott; overprotective parents; the value of play; Gen Z’s low social trust; boys growing up with poor flirting skills; casual dating and ghosting; the historical amnesia and unhappiness of young gays; the tension between individualism and belonging; extroverts vs. introverts; how Jesus disarmed people; and the loving kindness of Buddhism.

Browse the Dishcast archive for another convo you might enjoy (the first 102 episodes are free in their entirety — subscribe to get everything else). Coming up: David Leonhardt on his new book about the American Dream, NYT columnist Pamela Paul, and the authors of Where Have All the Democrats Gone? — John Judis and Ruy Teixeira. Later on: Cat Bohannon and McKay Coppins. Please send any guest recs, pod dissent and other comments to


Categories: Lifestyle

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