The Genius in All of Us by David Shenk
Why Everything You've Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and IQ Is Wrong

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Synopsis

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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About David Shenk

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David Shenk is the author of Data Smog, and The Forgetting. A former fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University, he has written for Harper's, Wired, Salon, The New Republic, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, and the New York Times Magazine, and is an occasional commentator for NPR's All Things Considered. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter.
 
Published March 3, 2010 by Anchor. 401 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Genius in All of Us

Kirkus Reviews

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Journalist Shenk (The Immortal Game: A History of Chess, 2006, etc.), who has a flair for explaining scientific subjects in everyday language, challenges the simple notion that genes determine whether or not a person is gifted.

Dec 15 2009 | Read Full Review of The Genius in All of Us: Why ...

The New York Times

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David Shenk argues that discipline, not giftedness, is vital to greatness.

Mar 21 2010 | Read Full Review of The Genius in All of Us: Why ...

The Guardian

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Geneticists reading the book as a piece of novel theory can browse the book's second half, devoted entirely to sources and notes, to check that all this stands up.

Jan 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Genius in All of Us: Why ...

The Guardian

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Geneticists reading the book as a piece of novel theory can browse the book's second half, devoted entirely to sources and notes, to check that all this stands up.

Jan 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Genius in All of Us: Why ...

BC Books

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Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio is 266th Pope by Dr Joseph S Maresca (3 comments) top writers Most prolific Blogcritics for February Dr Joseph S Maresca (26 articles) Lesley Aeschliman (16 articles) Jack Goodstein (14 articles) Victor Lana (14 articles) David Bowling (11 articles) t...

Apr 28 2010 | Read Full Review of The Genius in All of Us: Why ...

Examiner

David Shenk's The Genius in All of Us: Why everything you've been told about genetics, talent, and IQ is wrong sounds like it should be required reading for parents and educators of gifted children everywhere.

May 26 2010 | Read Full Review of The Genius in All of Us: Why ...

New York Journal of Books

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Just as Shenk advises that practice and hard work are required to bring about the best results, the reader needs to know that attention and open-minded commitment is required on his or her part to fully realize the value within The Genius in All of Us.

Mar 09 2010 | Read Full Review of The Genius in All of Us: Why ...

Seattle PI

But it is a special kind of a process that produces the high achievers (or any achievement?) If anyone can develop any talent (like one for taking IQ tests, no matter if they measure nothing definable) by dint of a lucky coincidence of genetic and environmental interactions, then anyone can quali...

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Genius in All of Us: Why ...

The Army Rumour Service

I would not say do not buy this book but for those with an understanding of some of his areas of reference the book will seem flimsy and uncoordinated.

| Read Full Review of The Genius in All of Us: Why ...

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