"David Epstein manages to make me thoroughly enjoy the experience of being told that everything I thought about something was wrong. I loved Range." Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author of Outliers.
Range is the ground-breaking and exhilarating New York Times bestselling exploration into how to be successful in the 21st Century, from David Epstein the acclaimed author of The Sports Gene.
What if everything you have been taught about how to succeed in life was wrong?
From the '10,000 hours rule' to the power of Tiger parenting, we have been taught that success in any field requires early specialization and many hours of deliberate practice. And, worse, that if you dabble or delay, you'll never catch up with those who got a head start.
This is completely wrong.
In this landmark book, David Epstein shows that the way to excel is by sampling widely, gaining a breadth of experiences, taking detours, experimenting relentlessly, juggling many interests - in other words, by developing range.
Studying the world's most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, and scientists Epstein discovered that in most fields - especially those that are complex and unpredictable - generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. They are also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can't see. Range proves that by spreading your knowledge across multiple domains is the key to success rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area.
Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range explains how to maintain the benefits of breadth, diverse experience and interdisciplinary thinking in a world that increasingly demands, hyper-specialization.
PRAISE FOR RANGE
"I want to give Range to any kid who is being forced to take violin lessons-but really wants to learn the drums; to any programmer who secretly dreams of becoming a psychologist; to everyone who wants humans to thrive in an age of robots. Range is full of surprises and hope, a 21st century survival guide." Amanda Ripley, author of The Smartest Kids in the World.
"An assiduously researched and accessible argument for being a jack of all trades." O Magazine, Best Nonfiction Books Coming in 2019
"Brilliant, timely, and utterly impossible to put down. If you care about improving skill, innovation, and performance, you need to read this book." Daniel Coyle, author of The Culture Code and The Talent Code
"A fresh, brisk look at creativity, learning, and the meaning of achievement." Kirkus Reviews
"It's a joy to spend hours in the company of a writer as gifted as David Epstein. And the joy is all the greater when that writer shares so much crucial and revelatory information about performance, success, and education." Susan Cain, author of Quiet
Journalist and self-identified generalist Epstein (The Sporting Gene) delivers an enjoyable if not wholly convincing work of Gladwellian pop-psychology aimed at showing that specialization is not the only path to success. His survey finds no shortage of notable athletes, artists, inventors, and businesspeople who followed atypically circuitous paths. Some are household names, such as J.K. Rowling, who by her own admission "failed on an epic scale" before deciding to pursue writing, and Duke Ellington, who briefly studied music as a child before becoming more interested in basketball and drawing, only returning to music after a chance encounter with ragtime. Others are more obscure, such as Nintendo's Gunpei Yokoi, who turned his limitations as an electronics engineer to his advantage when he created the cheap-to-produce, durable Game Boy, and Jack Cecchini, "one of the rare musicians who is world class in both jazz and classical." Epstein's narrative case studies are fascinating, but the rapid-fire movement from one sketch to the next can create the impression of evidence in search of a thesis. While this well-crafted book does not entirely disprove the argument for expertise, Epstein does show that, for anyone without 10,000 hours to devote to mastering a single skill, there is hope yet.