On Paradise Drive
How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense
By: David Brooks
Publication Date: 2005-05-24
Number of pages: 320
Take a look at Americans in their natural habitat: guys shopping for barbecue grills, doing that special walk men do when in the presence of lumber; superefficient soccer Ubermoms who chair school auctions, organize PTAs, and weigh less than their kids; and suburban chain restaurants, which if they merged would be called Chili's Olive Garden Hard Rock Outback Cantina. Are we as shallow as we look? Many around the world see us as the great bimbos. Sure, Americans work hard and are energetic, but that is because we are money-hungry and don't know how to relax.
But if you probe deeper, you find that we behave the way we do because we live under the spell of paradise. We are the inheritors of a sense of limitless possibilities, raised to think in the future tense and to strive toward the happiness we naturally accept.
On Paradise Drive, at once serious and comic, describes this distinct American future-mindedness that shapes our personalities and underlies our beliefs.