Range

WHY GENERALISTS TRIUMPH IN A SPECIALIZED WORLD

COMING MAY 28, 2019

ABOUT THE BOOK

What's the most effective path to success in any domain? It's not what you think.

Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you’ll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule.

David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered 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.

Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. The most impactful inventors cross domains rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.

Reviews

For reasons I cannot explain, 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 Blink and Outliers

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, bestselling author of Quiet 

Range elevates Epstein to one of the very best science writers at work today. The scope of the book — and the implications — are breathtaking. I find myself applying what I've learned to almost every aspect of my life.

Sebastian Junger, bestselling author of Tribe, War, and The Perfect Storm

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, bestselling author of The Smartest Kids in the World

Range will force you to rethink the nature of learning, thinking, and being, and reconsider what you thought you knew about optimal education and career paths—and how and why the most successful people in the world do what they do. It's one of the most thought-provoking and enlightening books I've read.

Maria Konnikova, bestselling author of Mastermind and The Confidence Game, professional poker player

For too long, we’ve believed in a single path to excellence. Start early, specialize soon, narrow your focus, aim for efficiency. But in this groundbreaking book, David Epstein shows that in most domains, the way to excel is something altogether different. Sample widely, gain a breadth of experiences, take detours, and experiment relentlessly. Epstein is a deft writer, equally nimble at telling a great story and unpacking complicated science. And Range is an urgent and important book, an essential read for bosses, parents, coaches, and anyone who cares about improving performance.

Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of When and Drive

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, bestselling author of The Culture Code

In a world that’s increasingly obsessed with specialization, star science writer David Epstein is here to convince you that the future may belong to generalists. It’s a captivating read that will leave you questioning the next steps in your career—and the way you raise your children.

Adam Grant, bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

An assiduously researched and accessible argument for being a jack of all trades.

O Magazine - Best Nonfiction Books Coming in 2019

A fresh, brisk look at creativity, learning, and the meaning of achievement.

— Kirkus Reviews

Events

92nd St. Y

In conversation with Malcolm Gladwell 92nd St. Y (btwn 91st and 92nd St.) 1395 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10128

Politics & Prose

In conversation with Daniel H. Pink Politics & Prose 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington, DC, 20008

Events

92nd St. Y

In conversation with Malcolm Gladwell 92nd St. Y (btwn 91st and 92nd St.) 1395 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10128

Politics & Prose

In conversation with Daniel H. Pink Politics & Prose 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington, DC, 20008