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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2014 Joshua Wolf Shenk (P)2014 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Love the book, hated the language.

I love the principles taught in this book. I think it can be life-changing for anyone who reads it.

Unfortunately, there are a whole group of people I can't share this book with. Joshua Wolf Shank has chosen to limit his audience by including language that could easily be retracted. It's a shame.

If you don't mind the F-word being used frequently (in quotations), I highly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Tough listen

Throughout the whole book there was an undertone of internal conflict from the writer. With alot of stories of well known pairs being told, there lacked an immersiveness into the characters world. I believe that the flat narration played a great part in not doing the book justice. Was a tough listen for me.

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Intellectually Stimulating, Culturally Relevantb

I liked this book because it tries to examine something so core to existence-our relationships with others.

The prose is engaging and I appreciated the relevance of the examples.

I found the whole book fascinating and I think it has altered the way I think about relationships and team work.