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The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You've Been Told about Genetics, Talent, and IQ Is Wrong


The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You've Been Told about Genetics, Talent, and IQ Is Wrong Cover

ISBN13: 9780385523653
ISBN10: 0385523653
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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About the Author

DAVID SHENK is the national bestselling author of five previous books, including The Forgetting, Data Smog, and most recently, The Immortal Game. He is a correspondent for, and has contributed to National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, Gourmet, Harper’s, The New Yorker, NPR, and PBS.

Table of Contents

With irresistibly persuasive vigor, David Shenk debunks the long-standing notion of genetic “giftedness,” and presents dazzling new scientific research showing how greatness is in the reach of every individual.


DNA does not make us who we are. “Forget everything you think you know about genes, talent, and intelligence,” he writes. “In recent years, a mountain of scientific evidence has emerged suggesting a completely new paradigm: not talent scarcity, but latent talent abundance.”


Integrating cutting-edge research from a wide swath of disciplines—cognitive science, genetics, biology, child development—Shenk offers a highly optimistic new view of human potential. The problem isn't our inadequate genetic assets, but our inability, so far, to tap into what we already have. IQ testing and widespread acceptance of “innate” abilities have created an unnecessarily pessimistic view of humanity—and fostered much misdirected public policy, especially in education.


The truth is much more exciting. Genes are not a “blueprint” that bless some with greatness and doom most of us to mediocrity or worse. Rather our individual destinies are a product of the complex interplay between genes and outside stimuli-a dynamic that we, as people and as parents, can influence.


This is a revolutionary and optimistic message. We are not prisoners of our DNA. We all have the potential for greatness.

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Marie Angell, July 28, 2010 (view all comments by Marie Angell)
Oh, the pain of throwing away our assumptions about genius and talent! It really does come down to hard work (the right kind though) much of the time.

Biology is complex, y'all. But David Shenk does an excellent job of sorting out and explaining the ways we are shaped by our genes, our environment and our experiences.

Although I was already sold on the idea that we are not pre-destined for greatness, even I had to re-orient my thinking about how the excellent learn to excel and how little, as well as how much, our genetic heritage influences us.

This book, or at least portions of it, makes excellent required reading in biology classes.
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Product Details

Why Everything You've Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and IQ Is Wrong
Shenk, David
Cognitive Psychology
Psychology-Cognitive Science
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.34x6.40x1.16 in. 1.39 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
» Science and Mathematics » Biology » Genetics

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