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Publisher's Summary

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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2010 David Shenk (P)2010 Random House

What members say

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  • Laura
  • Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 06-28-10

A New View on Genius

As a researcher on the topic of genius myself, I was very impressed with Shenk's take on the topic. He weaves together several promising lines of research to create a convincing narrative. Furthermore, he has a gift for explaining difficult concepts (e.g., heritability) and research (e.g., epigenetics). I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in genius, intelligence, creativity, and human development more generally. Brilliant!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Genius

Sort of a companion piece to Gladwell's Outliers. The two books go together well as Shenk is taking on an orthodoxy of thought around the gifted few - the geniuses. Important for parents and educators to understand the potential in our kids and students to achieve if given means and motivation to practice.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Connecting genetics, talent and IQ intelligently

I have been reading extensively on talent and IQ for about three years. You know the regular suspects: Outliers, The Talent Code, Talent is Overrated, Bounce and the likes.
Shenk's book is fascinating in the depth of the science he goes into. With the book you get his full endnotes in PDF, which is quite the launching pad for further reading and research.
Well written, very well researched and very intersting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Justin
  • United States
  • 12-19-11

Great listen on the cutting edge of neuroscience..

What did you love best about The Genius in All of Us?

This is a great book. It's very up to date with citation of many of modern scientific studies. Usually a book like this is very up and down. Some exciting research mixed with some very boring downside. But this managed to keep me on my toes. I am actually looking forward to listening this again after listening to a few other books about neurology and psychology, hopefully gaining a better understanding of the whole picture. I loved how they brought up the most successful people being the ones who did not give up. It's really all a numbers game, this concept went beautifully with

Which scene was your favorite?

I listened to the concluding chapter a few times because it sums up the book really well.

Any additional comments?

I can't suggest this enough.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Decent book but there are better ones

I really wished he would have covered what IQ is more fully and how much depends on genetics. Personally I would say it's a decent book but a more in depth look at deliberate practice is covered by Anders Ericsson in his book Peak. For a more social and cultural look on intelligence I recommend Intellectuals and Race by Thomas Sowell.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating topic

I thought I had a decent understanding of genetics, but I was totally behind on epigenetics. My concept of how both effect talent/intelligence has to be completely reworked.

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Game Changer

This book challenges everything we think we know about genetics and heritability. incredibly fascinating

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Yes!

The author convincingly invites us to rethink our notions of talent as being inborn in light of new discoveries in genetics research. If you enjoyed Gladwell's "outliers", then this might fit your interests.

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Great & Freeing scientifically backed information!

This information is powerful and far reaching for the individual and for society. It's tragic that every human on earth doesn't know what is in this book. What is "known" today about talent and ability is wrong and limiting. This is groundbreaking science. There has to be a way to speed up dissemination of new scientific information, especially on something that has such profound personal and societal implications!

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A good follow up to The Talent Code

Another great reference to how genius is developed and not necessarily an innate quality. Great read!

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  • Kalin
  • 03-29-15

Mind-blowing!

It is an excellent audiobook and the facts about how genetics actually works was an eye opening experience. I would recommend it to everybody around me. Very clear a message and a plethora of fascinating stories and experiments.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful