Arthur C. Brooks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Arthur C. Brooks
Arthur Brooks by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
Brooks in 2017
Born (1964-05-21) May 21, 1964 (age 59)
InstitutionHarvard University (2019–present)
American Enterprise Institute (2009–2019)
Syracuse University (2001–2009)
Georgia State University (1998–2000)
FieldSocial Science, Microeconomics, Management
School or
Neoclassical economics
Alma materThomas Edison State University (BA)
Florida Atlantic University (MA)
Pardee RAND Graduate School (PhD)
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Arthur C. Brooks (born May 21, 1964) is an American author, public speaker, and academic. Since 2019, Brooks has served as the William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and at the Harvard Business School as a Professor of Management Practice and Faculty Fellow.[1] Previously, Brooks served as the 11th President of the American Enterprise Institute. He is the author of twelve books, including From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life (2022), Love Your Enemies (2019), The Conservative Heart (2015), and The Road to Freedom (2012). Since 2020, he has written for the Atlantic’s How to Build a Life column on happiness and hosted its podcast, How to Build a Happy Life.

Brooks at The Atlantic's 2022 "In Pursuit of Happiness" Conference

Early life and education[edit]

Brooks was born on May 21, 1964,[2] in Spokane, Washington, to David C. Brooks, a mathematics professor, and Jacqueline Brooks, an artist. When he was very young, his family moved to Seattle, where he spent his childhood.[citation needed]

Brooks was a professional French hornist into his early thirties, much of it with the City Orchestra of Barcelona, Spain.[3]

Brooks returned to school in his late twenties to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics, via distance learning, from Thomas Edison State College,[3] while continuing his work as a professional musician.[citation needed] He then earned master’s degree in economics from Florida Atlantic University while also working full time.[citation needed]

In 1998, Brooks earned his MPhil and PhD in public policy analysis from the RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California, while working at the RAND Corporation as a military operations research analyst for Project Air Force. Brooks has since been awarded honorary doctorates from The Catholic University of America in 2023, Saint Thomas Aquinas College in 2020, Brigham Young University in 2019, Claremont McKenna College in 2019, Hampden-Sydney College in 2018, Jacksonville University in 2018, Ave Maria University in 2015, and Thomas Edison State College in 2013.[4]


Georgia State University & Syracuse University[edit]

Brooks began his academic career in 1998 at Georgia State University as an assistant professor of public administration and economics. From 2001 to 2008, he taught at Syracuse University, where he was made a full professor in 2006, and was named the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy in 2007. He held a joint appointment at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management.[4] During his tenure at Syracuse, Brooks published over 60 peer-reviewed articles and four books.[5]

American Enterprise Institute[edit]

From 2009 to 2019, Brooks served as the 11th President and Beth and Ravenel Curry Scholar in Free Enterprise for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).[5]

Harvard University[edit]

In 2018, Brooks announced his resignation from AEI, writing in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that "social enterprises generally thrive best when chief executives don't stay much longer than a decade, because it's important to refresh the organizational vision periodically and avoid becoming uniquely associated with one person."[6] Since 2019, he has taught at the Harvard Kennedy School and at the Harvard Business School.[1] His "Leadership and Happiness" class at Harvard has gained immense popularity and attention in the press.[7]

Recent work[edit]

From Strength to Strength[edit]

In February 2022, Brooks published From Strength to Strength: Finding Happiness, Success, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life. Brooks’ ideas on happiness research on aging professionals were first introduced to the public in a 2019 Atlantic article, “Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think".[8] From Strength to Strength debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, where it remained for several months.[9] It received widespread attention, including from Oprah Winfrey,[10] who recommended the book, and was endorsed by the Dalai Lama.[11]

Happiness research[edit]

Brooks began focusing intensively on the study of happiness following his professional move from AEI to Harvard, where he taught classes in happiness, also writing weekly on the subject in The Atlantic. He also began hosting podcasts on happiness such as How to Build a Happy Life.[12]

Love Your Enemies[edit]

In 2019, Brooks published Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt, which he describes as an antidote to the toxic political culture he found in the United States, especially after the 2016 election. With ideas based in behavioral research, ancient philosophy, and his own experience as the president of AEI, Brooks encourages a culture of love and respectful disagreement for political and economic progress and shows how this can be done. Love Your Enemies was a national bestseller and was included in Politico’s “Top Books of 2019.”[13]

The Pursuit[edit]

Brooks was the subject of the 2019 documentary The Pursuit. This film follows Brooks around the world as he searches for answers to issues of global poverty.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Brooks is married to Ester Munt-Brooks, a native of Barcelona. They have three adult children, two daughters-in-law, and one grandson. They live in Needham, Massachusetts.


  • McCarthy, Kevin F.; Arthur C. Brooks; Julia Lowell & Laura Zakaras (2001). The performing arts in a new era. Santa Monica: Rand Corporation. ISBN 0833030418.
  • Kevin F. McCarthy, Elizabeth H. Ondaatje, Laura Zakaras, and Arthur C. Brooks. Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate about the Benefits of the Arts. Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand Corporation, 2004. (ISBN 0833036947)
  • Arthur C. Brooks, ed. Gifts of Time and Money: The Role of Charity in America's Communities. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. (ISBN 0742545059)
  • Kevin F. McCarthy, Elizabeth H. Ondaatje, Arthur C. Brooks, and Andras Szanto. A Portrait of the Visual Arts: Meeting the Challenges of a New Era. Santa Monica, Calf.: Rand Corporation, 2005. (ISBN 0833037935)
  • Arthur C. Brooks. Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism. New York: Basic Books, 2006. (ISBN 978-0465008216)
  • Arthur C. Brooks. Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America—and How We Can Get More of It. New York: Basic Books, 2008. (ISBN 978-0465002788)
  • Arthur C. Brooks. Social Entrepreneurship: A Modern Approach to Social Value Creation. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 2008. (ISBN 978-0132330763)
  • Arthur C. Brooks. The Battle: How the Fight between Big Government and Free Enterprise Will Shape America's Future. New York: Basic Books, 2010. (ISBN 978-0465022120)
  • Arthur C. Brooks. The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise. New York: Basic Books, 2012. (ISBN 978-0465029402)
  • Arthur C. Brooks. The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America. New York: Broadside Books, 2015. (ISBN 978-0062319753)
  • Arthur C. Brooks. Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt. New York: Broadside Books, 2019. (ISBN 978-0062883759)
  • Brooks, Arthur C. (July 2019). "Your professional decline is coming (much) sooner than you think". The Workplace Report. The Atlantic. 324 (1): 66–76. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  • Arthur C. Brooks. From Strength to Strength, Finding Happiness, Success, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life. New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2022. (ISBN 978-0593191484)


  • The Pursuit (2019)


  1. ^ a b "Arthur Brooks appointed professor of the practice of public leadership at Harvard Kennedy School". Harvard Kennedy School. August 30, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ ""The Conservative Heart" Excerpt by Arthur C. Brooks". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  3. ^ a b Brooks, Arthur (January 31, 2013). "My Valuable, Cheap College Degree". New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Harvard Business School. June 2, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b "Arthur C. Brooks". July 12, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Brooks, Arthur C. (March 14, 2018). "Reflections on a Decade of Leading a Think Tank". The Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ Ellis, Lindsay (February 14, 2022). "Harvard Wants M.B.A.s to Learn How to Be Happy at Work". The Wall Street Journal.
  8. ^ Brooks, Arthur C. (July 2019). "Your Professional Decline is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think". The Atlantic.
  9. ^ "Best Sellers: Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction". New York Times. March 2, 2022. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
  10. ^ "Super Soul with Oprah Winfrey". YouTube. April 22, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ Lama, Dalai (June 2, 2022). "Reviews".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Introducing: How to Build a Happy Life". 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ Okun, Eli (December 31, 2019). "The top books and trends of 2019, according to Playbook readers". Politico.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ Bell, BreAnna (2019). "Best Documentaries on Netflix in October". Variety.

External links[edit]