Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

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Penguin, 2019 - BUSINESS & ECONOMICS - 339 pages
The #1 New York Times bestseller that has all America talking: as seen/heard on CNN, Morning Joe, CBS This Morning, The Bill Simmons Podcast, Rich Roll, and more.

Shortlisted for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

"I love this idea [RANGE], because I think of myself as a jack of all trades." -- Fareed Zakaria, CNN


"The most important business--and parenting--book of the year." --Forbes

"Urgent and important. . . an essential read for bosses, parents, coaches, and anyone who cares about improving performance." --Daniel H. Pink

"As David Epstein shows us, cultivating range prepares us for the wickedly unanticipated... a well-supported and smoothly written case on behalf of breadth and late starts." --Wall Street Journal

Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you'll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world's top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule.

David Epstein examined the world's most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields--especially those that are complex and unpredictable--generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They're also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can't see.

Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. The most impactful inventors cross domains rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Daniel.Estes - LibraryThing

For the first few chapters, it seemed like this book was shaping up to be one of those "everybody does X, but Y is better" non-fiction narratives. Don't get me wrong, I love this type of hook. It's anti-conventional wisdom and occasionally the counter-proponents are right. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmarun - LibraryThing

I'll start by quoting this from the book: "Knowledge is a double-edged sword. It allows you to do some things, but it also makes you blind to other things that you could do." The book's premise is ... Read full review

Contents

Roger vs Tiger cHAPTER 1 The Cult of the Head Start
15
How the Wicked World Was Made
37
When Less of the Same Is More
55
Learning Fast and Slow
79
Thinking Outside Experience
99
The Trouble with Too Much Grit
121
Flirting with Your Possible Selves
147
The Outsider Advantage 1 7
171
Lateral Thinking with Withered Technology
215
Learning to Drop Your Familiar Tools
233
Deliberate Amateurs
269
Expanding Your Range
287
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
293
not Es
297
INDEX
329
Copyright

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About the author (2019)

David Epstein is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene. He has master's degrees in environmental science and journalism and has worked as an investigative reporter for ProPublica and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. He lives in Washington, DC.

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