Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Below, you can hear jour­nal­ist David Epstein talks with Recode’s Kara Swish­er about his book, Range: Why Gen­er­al­ists Tri­umph in a Spe­cial­ized World. In it, “he argues that the world’s most suc­cess­ful ath­letes, artists, musi­cians, inven­tors, fore­cast­ers and sci­en­tists are more like­ly to be dab­blers, rather than peo­ple who set out to do what they do best from a young age — and, in fact, the peo­ple who have high­ly spe­cial­ized train­ing from an ear­ly age tend to have low­er life­time earn­ings over­all.” The #1 New York Times best­selling book makes the case 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.”

You can pick up a copy of Range: Why Gen­er­al­ists Tri­umph in a Spe­cial­ized World in print, or get it as a free audio book if you sign up for a 30-day free tri­al with Audible.com.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Noam Chom­sky Defines What It Means to Be a Tru­ly Edu­cat­ed Per­son

Oxford’s Free Course Crit­i­cal Rea­son­ing For Begin­ners Teach­es You to Think Like a Philoso­pher

How to Focus: Five Talks Reveal the Secrets of Con­cen­tra­tion

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.