Synopses & Reviews
The cherished view of genius is that it is a special inborn gift: something mysterious, even miraculous. In Genius Explained, psychologist Michael Howe traces the lives of some exceptionally creative men and women, including Charles Darwin, the Brontë sisters, George Eliot, Michael Faraday, Albert Einstein and the railway inventor George Stephenson. Their biographies reveal how the extraordinary capabilities of these people were clearly rooted in the experiences and opportunities that forged their characters. Eschewing mysticism, Howe's study shows that to be a genius demands a strong sense of direction and an extraordinary degree of commitment, focus, practice, ardous training and drive. Michael J.A. Howe is professor of psychology at the University of Exeter. He is the author of A Teacher's Guide to the Psychology of Learning (Blackwell, 1999) and The Psychology of High Abilities (New York University Press, 1999). Previous paperback edition (1999) 0-521-64968-4
"The book persuasively argues against the straw man idea of genius as an inherent quality or (super) natural gift. Exceptional abilities are built up in everyday circumstances-hard work, discussion, and so on. In addition, Howe presents clear, coherent biographical detail in an effort to foster the feeling that "geniuses" are just human beings- like you and me." Biography
'... an enjoyable and informative book ... His insights are thought-provoking ... This argument, worked through the case histories, is not only impressive but encouraging, opening the way up to all of us and our children.' Galton Institute Newsletter
'The richness of Howe's examples and his clear flowing writing style, recommend this book for serious popular readers.' Contemporary Psychology
This study controversially suggests genius is made not born by tracing the lives of famous figures.
Controversially suggests genius is made not born by tracing the lives of famous figures.
Michael J. A. Howe addresses the belief that genius is born not made, suggesting that it is not a gift but the product of a combination of environment, personality and sheer hard work. These ideas are developed through case studies of figures such as Darwin, the Brontësisters and Einstein.
Genius Explained addresses the belief that genius is born not made. Controversially, it suggests genius is not a mysterious gift but the product of environment, personality and hard work and looks at the lives of, amongst others, Charles Darwin, George Eliot, the Bronte sisters, Michael Faraday and Albert Einstein.
In Genius Explained Michael J. A. Howe addresses the commonly held belief that genius is born not made. Controversially, he suggests that genius is not a mysterious and mystical gift, but the product of a combination of environment, personality and sheer hard work. He develops these ideas through case studies of famous figures such as Charles Darwin, George Eliot, George Stevenson, the Brontë sisters, Michael Faraday and Albert Einstein. This fascinating and accessible book will be of interest to academics and students of intelligence and the interested lay reader.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. The young Charles Darwin; 3. The long ascent of George Stephenson; 4. Michael Faraday; 5. Manufacturing genius; 6. Einstein and the prodigies; 7. The expertise of great writers; 8. Inventing and discovering; 9. Born to be a genius?; Appendix: personalia; References; Index.