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Outliers: The Story of Successby Malcolm Gladwell
Synopses & Reviews
A revelatory synthesis of cultural history and social psychology that shows how one-to-one collaboration drives creative success
Weaving the lives of scores of creative duos—from John Lennon and Paul McCartney to Marie and Pierre Curie to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak—Joshua Wolf Shenk identifies the core qualities of that dizzying experience we call "chemistry." Revealing the six essential stages through which creative intimacy unfolds, Shenk draws on new scientific research and builds an argument for the social foundations of creativity—and the pair as its primary embodiment. Along the way, he reveals how pairs begin to talk, think, and even look like each other; how the most successful ones thrive on conflict; and why some pairs flame out while others endure.
When it comes to shaping the culture, Shenk argues, two is the magic number, not just because of the dyads behind everything from South Park to the American Civil Rights movement to Starry Night, but because of the nature of creative thinking. Even when we're alone, we are in a sense "collaborating" with a voice inside our head. At once intuitive and surprising, Powers of Two will change the way we think about innovation.
In this stunning investigation of success, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on a journey through the world of outliers-the best, brightest, and most famous-asking the question: what makes high-achievers different?
Gladwell argues that in order to solve this riddle we must focus on the contributing elements around the successful-their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way, he explains what the Beatles and Bill Gates share in common, the reason you've never heard of the smartest man in the world, why almost no star hockey players are born in the fall, and why Columbian and South Korean airplane pilots are more likely to crash.
Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will transform the way we understand success.
A rigorous and inspiring survey of the workings of creative pairings that shows us how great duos work together and how we can adapt their techniques in our own work and lives.
About the Author
JOSHUA WOLF SHENK is a curator, essayist, and the author of Lincoln's Melancholy, a New York Times Notable Book. A contributor to The Atlantic, Harper's, The New Yorker, and other publications, he directs the Arts in Mind series on creativity and serves on the general council of The Moth. He lives in Los Angeles.
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