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Extended Audio Sample Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, by David Brooks Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Brooks Narrator: David Brook Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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It used to be pretty easy to distinguish between the bourgeois world of capitalism and the bohemian counterculture. The bourgeois worked for corporations, wore gray, and went to church. The bohemians were artists and intellectuals. Bohemians championed the values of the liberated 1960s; the bourgeois were the enterprising yuppies of the 1980s.

But now the bohemian and the bourgeois are all mixed up, as David Brooks explains in this brilliant description of upscale culture in America. It is hard to tell an espresso-sipping professor from a cappuccino-gulping banker. Laugh and sob as you read about the information age economy's new dominant class. Marvel at their attitudes toward morality, sex, work, and lifestyle, and at how the members of this new elite have combined the values of the countercultural sixties with those of the achieving eighties. These are the people who set the tone for society today, for you. They are bourgeois bohemians: Bobos.

Are you a Bobo?

  • Do you believe that spending $15,000 on a media center is vulgar, but that spending $15,000 on a slate shower stall is a sign that you are at one with the Zenlike rhythms of nature?
  • Does your newly renovated kitchen look like an aircraft hangar with plumbing? Did you select your new refrigerator on the grounds that mere freezing isn't cold enough?
  • Would you spend a little more for socially conscious toothpaste—the kind that doesn't actually kill germs, it just asks them to leave?
  • Do you work for one of those hip, visionary software companies where everybody comes to work in hiking boots and glacier glasses, as if a 400-foot wall of ice were about to come sliding through the parking lot?
  • Do you think your educational credentials are just as good as those of the shimmering couples on the New York Times weddings page?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are probably a member of today’s new upper class. Even if you didn't, you'd still better pay attention, because these Bobos define our age. Their hybrid culture is the atmosphere we breathe. Their status codes govern social life, and their moral codes govern ethics and influence our politics. Bobos in Paradise is a witty and serious look at the cultural consequences of the information age and a penetrating description of how we live now.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “A mixture of heartfelt fondness and dead-on ridicule, animated by an energetic glass-half-full ambivalence. The book is a pleasure, simultaneously bracing and comforting.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “In his briskly written, clever Bobos in Paradise, David Brooks astutely describes a new-ish American elite…An enormously accomplished and perceptive reporter.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “David Brooks has written a smart, funny book about the new meritocracy, the information-age elite whose members…set the tone of our time.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Thanks to Brooks, bobos will join preppies, yuppies, and angry white males in the American lexicon.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Thanks to Brooks, bobos will join preppies, yuppies, and angry white males in the American lexicon.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “A breezy, well-argued explanation for why affluent, well-educated people crave sub-zero refrigerators. Clever observations…and gentle fun.”

    USA Today

  • “As both comedy and sociology, Bobos in Paradise succeeds nicely. A terrifically entertaining read, it is fundamentally correct in its premise.”

    New Republic

  • “Insightful and entertaining. The book abounds in perfectly rendered vignettes about the folkways of the educated class of the 1990s, a number of them laugh-out-loud funny.”


  • “Written with compelling insight, extraordinary felicitous language, cunning wit, and great affection…Explains numerous paradoxes of the late twentieth and embryonic twenty-first centuries.”

    Fort Worth Star-Telegram

  • “A serious social critic wittily dissects an American elite that blends Woodstock hedonism with corporate values.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “A thoroughly entertaining shellacking of our most upwardly mobile friends and neighbors.”

    Tampa Tribune

  • “Erudite and readable. Delivers densely packed cultural history and observation sprinkled with gut-busting passages. Brooks’s eye is superb.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Hilarious and enlightening.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Perceptive and amusing. [Brooks] has identified the salient characteristics of this new elite, and he describes them with accuracy and wit.”

    Washington Post

  • A New York Times Bestseller
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