Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

David BrooksDavid Brooks

Acclaimed writer David Brooks to deliver spring Atkinson Lecture

On Feb. 17, Willamette will host acclaimed writer David Brooks as part of its Atkinson Lecture Series. Seating begins at 7 p.m. in Willamette's Smith Auditorium, and doors close promptly when the lecture begins at 7:30.

Known as a moderately conservative political commentator, Brooks’ latest project is a book entitled “The Social Animal, The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement.” In a similarly titled article in The New Yorker, Brooks discusses how advances in science have shed light upon the unconscious workings of the brain within a social context.    

A book signing will follow the lecture. The Willamette Store will sell Brooks’ prior work and will offer a 20 percent discount on pre-orders for “The Social Animal.” Pre-orders are welcome prior to the event, and customers who pre-order will receive a commemorative bookplate signed by the author.

Brooks has written an opinion column in The New York Times since 2003 and is a weekly commentator on PBS NewsHour. He has written for numerous publications and has held editorial positions with The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly. Brooks has also contributed to many other publications and broadcasts, including The Washington Post and Forbes.

Brooks edited “Backward and Upward: The New Conservative Writing.” He wrote “Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There” and “On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense.”

Each year, the Atkinson Lecture Series brings internationally prominent leaders, authors and actors to the university. Past lecturers include Colin Powell, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Paul Krugman, Benazir Bhutto and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, among many others.


A limited number of tickets will be available to the general public and to Willamette alumni starting now. Alumni should register and pay online or contact Kim Burris at 503-375-5304; cost is $15. Others who are interested can purchase tickets for $25, payable with cash or check at the information desk on the first floor of the Putnam University Center. Tickets are non-refundable.

The Atkinson Lecture Series was established through a generous endowed gift from the Atkinson family with the purpose of continuously enhancing intellectual life at Willamette. For more information, visit the lecture series website.