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Best of the National Book Festival: David Brooks, 2019

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Welcome to our ongoing celebration of the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Each weekday, we will feature a video presentation from among the thousands of authors who have appeared at the National Book Festival and as part of our new year-long series, National Book Festival Presents. Mondays will feature topical nonfiction; Tuesday: poetry or literary fiction; Wednesday: history, biography, memoir; Thursday: popular fiction; and Friday: authors who write for children and teens. Please enjoy, and make sure to explore our full National Book Festival video collection!

We kick off this week’s series with New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks, who talked with philanthropist and National Book Festival co-chair David M. Rubenstein on the Main Stage at the 2019 festival in D.C.

Brooks tells Rubenstein how, in New York City in the 1960s, his left-wing parents took him to a “be-in,” where people were throwing money and other valuables into a garbage can fire to prove how little material things meant to them. “I broke from the crowd, reached into the fire, grabbed the money and ran away. And that was my first step over to the right.” Brooks is the author of the recently published “The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life.”

The 2020 Library of Congress National Book Festival, which is free for everyone, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 29. You can get up-to-the-minute news, schedule updates and other important festival information by subscribing to this blog. The festival is made possible by the generosity of sponsors. You too can support the festival by making a gift now.


  1. I am overwhelmed that I learned about this series of National Book Festival recordings and that my first pick was the remarkable David Brooks. I cannot wait to tell everyone I know about this great gift that you have given us all. During this time of isolation and rage it is a remarkable gift to remind us that there is good and truth and beauty in the world, still. I will always be grateful.
    Holly Pollinger
    Washington, DC

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