The Genius in All of Us

  • by David Shenk
  • Narrated by Mark Deakins
  • 5 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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!
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- Laura


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.
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- Joshua Kim

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-09-2010
  • Publisher: Random House Audio