DAVID SHENK is the national bestselling author of five previous books, including "The Forgetting, Data Smog, " and most recently, "The Immortal Game." He is a correspondent for TheAtlantic.com, and has contributed to "National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, Gourmet, Harper's, The New Yorker, "NPR, and PBS.
"[Shenk] tells engaging stories, lucidly explains complex research and offers fresh insights in the nature of exceptional peformance, such efforts have resulted in a deeply interesting and important book. David Shenk may not be a genius yet, but give him time."-- "New York Times Book Review"
"Inspired..."The Genius in All of Us" has quietly blown my mind."--"Salon"
..".a welcome new book...you'll find [Shenk] a fluid, easy
writer..."The Genius in All of Us "is a quick, compelling
- "The Boston Globe"
-- KIRKUS REVIEWS
"Intent on burying the concept of inborn genius, Shenk uses the 128 pages of "The Argument" to drive home how mistaken the notion of being genetically destined at birth to be a Mozart or a Michael Jordan is. For genes aren't the inalterable essences that environmental effects merely help out; rather, genes and environment interact to realize a person's potential in a constant and complicated process that Shenk attractively exemplifies through the athletic life of Ted Williams, who began hitting practice at age six and, equally important, never gave it up; also, considered to have magically sharp sight, he tested only high normal upon entering naval aviation--the thing was, he developed himself to, as Ty Cobb said, "see more of the ball than any man alive." En route to the startling revelation that Lamarckism (variation by inheritance, not Darwinian natural selection) has truth in it, after all, Shenk corrects common knowledge about what twin studies and IQ tests really show; clarifies the arguably most misunderstood genetics term, "heritable"; and scientifically revives faith in not just practice and determination but also parenting and lifestyle as crucial factors, along with genes, in the realization of talents. Since this flies in the face of a century of genetic determinism, Shenk employs the equally engrossing 141 pages of "The Ev