Arthur Brooks

Business, Conservative Politics, Entrepreneurship, Politics / Government, Politics & Current Events, Social Issues, TED Talk Speaker

Travels from District of Columbia, USA

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Arthur Brooks Profile

  • One of the country’s most distinct conservative voices, Brooks has served as President of the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C.-based think tank since 2009.

  • Nicknamed the “Republican Party’s poverty guru”, Brooks is known for his tireless advocacy of conservative economic policies as the most effective tool for alleviating poverty.

  • Brooks is a social scientist with a PhD in public policy, a regular New York Times columnist, and best-selling author of 11 books and counting, including The Conservative Heart and his 2019 release, Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from Our Culture of Contempt.
  • Arthur Brooks is one of the most distinguished conservative voices in Washington D.C. A social scientist who specializes in policy analysis, economics, and social justice, Brooks built national credibility during his tenure as president of the American Enterprise Institute, a center-right think tank dedicated to increasing human dignity and quality of life via free enterprise systems. Under his leadership, AEI doubled its staff numbers and saw a 50% increase in donated funds.

    Brooks has dedicated the later part of his life championing capitalism on the moral grounds that it has lifted more people out of poverty than any other force in human history. Dubbed by NBC as “the Republican Party’s poverty guru,” he has worked tirelessly to draw attention to poverty within the conservative movement through his columns at the New York Times, frequent media appearances, keynotes in venues such as TED and several universities, as well as his position at AEI. Additionally, he has collaborated with the Dalai Lama in raising awareness on how we can increase happiness and human prosperity.

    Brooks is the best-selling author of 11 books on policy, government, and societal well-being and one of the most cited authors in GOP circles. Some of his best-known works include The Conservative Heart and The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise.
    Brooks’ latest book Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from Our Culture of Contempt (2019) explains how the majority of Americans can take the political reigns from the fringe and unite the country.

    Brooks’ career had an unusual start. For over a decade he was a professional French horn player, touring internationally before settling in Spain to play for Barcelona’s city orchestra. He returned to the US in the mid-1990s and completed both a BA and master’s in Economics before going on to complete a PhD in public policy. He taught at Syracuse University for several years as a professor, focusing his research and courses on social entrepreneurship and behavioral economics.

    Brooks has served as president of AEI since 2009.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio


      Arthur Brooks is a bestselling author, a social scientist, and the president of the American Enterprise Institute. Arthur works with top scholars, policymakers, and elected officials to fight for all Americans’ access to free enterprise and earned success.

      Arthur’s path to Washington, DC, has been anything but typical. At 19, he left college to play the French horn professionally. He toured internationally and recorded several albums, eventually landing in the City Orchestra of Barcelona.

      In his late 20s, Arthur returned to the US and completed his bachelor’s degree by correspondence. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in public policy, focusing on microeconomics and mathematical modeling. After completing his doctorate, he spent 10 years as a professor of public administration.

      Arthur is an in-demand speaker, a New York Times opinion writer, and a frequent radio and TV commentator. A Seattle native, he has been married for 26 years to his wife, Ester. They live in Maryland and have three children.

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    Books by Arthur Brooks:

    The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America

    The prominent economist and president of the American Enterprise Institute—the leading intellectual think tank on the right—offers a bold new vision for conservatism as a movement for social and economic justice.

    In The Conservative Heart, Arthur C. Brooks contends that after years of focusing on economic growth and traditional social values, it is time for a new kind of conservatism—one that helps the vulnerable without mortgaging our children’s future. In Brooks’ daring vision, this conservative movement fights poverty, promotes equal opportunity, celebrates earned success, and values spiritual enlightenment. It is an inclusive movement with a positive agenda to help people lead happier, more hopeful, and more satisfied lives.

    One of the country’s leading scholars and policy thinkers, Brooks has considered these issues for decades. Drawing on years of research on the sources of happiness, he asserts that what people most need are four “institutions of meaning”—faith, family, community, and meaningful work. These are not only the foundations of personal wellbeing, but also the necessary means for building a better nation.

    Combining reporting, original research, and case studies, and free of vituperative politics, The Conservative Heart is an intelligent and compelling manifesto for renewal. Clear, well-reasoned, and accessible, it is a welcome new strategy for disconsolate conservatives looking for fresh, actionable ideas to address the serious problems confronting us today and to reclaim our future, and for politically independent citizens who believe that neither political party addresses their needs or concerns.

    The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, and upward mobility: These traditions are at the heart of the free enterprise system, and have long been central to America’s exceptional culture. In recent years, however, policymakers have dramatically weakened these traditions–by exploding the size of government, propping up their corporate cronies, and trying to reorient our system from rewarding merit to redistributing wealth.

    In The Road to Freedom, American Enterprise Institute President Arthur C. Brooks shows that this trend cannot be reversed through materialistic appeals about the economic efficiency of capitalism. Rather, free enterprise requires a moral defense rooted in the ideals of earned success, equality of opportunity, charity, and basic fairness. Brooks builds this defense and demonstrates how it is central to understanding the major policy issues facing America today.

    The future of the free enterprise system has become a central issue in our national debate, and Brooks offers a practical manual for defending it over the coming years. Both a moral manifesto and a prescription for concrete policy changes, The Road to Freedom will help Americans in all walks of life translate the philosophy of free enterprise into action, to restore both our nation’s greatness and our own well-being in the process.

    The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future
    America faces a new culture war–one that threatens our long-standing culture of free enterprise. Free enterprise embodies the values that define us as a nation: individual liberty, equal opportunity, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance. But the recent economic crisis has distorted these values, leading many Americans to forget the evils of socialism–which, as Arthur C. Brooks reveals, is back with a vengeance. Its proponents are playing for keeps, and if they win, America will be changed forever, both economically and culturally. At once a call to action and a crucial redefinition of the gulf that divides Americans, The Battle offers a plan of action for the defense of free enterprise, the very soul of America.

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