In Range, David Epstein makes the case that in today’s era of specialization, generalists are more successful than ever before. Drawing on cutting-edge research from psychology, biology and anthropology, Epstein shows that what sets exceptional performers apart is not their focus but their breadth. Generalists often find themselves in roles where they can recombine ideas or methods from different fields to solve unique problems. They are also better at handling change and uncertainty–crucial skills in a rapidly-changing world. With examples ranging from Leonardo da Vinci to Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Range examines how intensely specialized experts often fail to deliver when it matters most while those who have cross-disciplinary knowledge excel time after time.
For who is this book for ?
This book is for anyone who wants to be more successful in their field. Epstein makes the case that generalists are better able to handle change and uncertainty, which are crucial skills in today’s rapidly-changing world. He provides evidence from psychology, biology, and anthropology to support his argument.
- The book is filled with examples of successful generalists
- The author provides scientific evidence to support his argument
- The book helps the reader understand why being a Jack of all trades can be an advantage
- The book is dry and long-winded
- It’s difficult to apply the research findings to real life
- The examples are often specific to very unique or rare cases
Learn more about the author
David Epstein is a senior writer for ProPublica and the author of The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance.He has also written for Wired, Slate, Boston Globe, Huffington Post and New York Times Magazine.
“Range is a thoughtful and compelling case for the enduring power of generalists in a world that seems to celebrate specialists. Epstein makes his argument with evidence from psychology, biology and anthropology, showing how those who excel are not single-minded experts but people comfortable borrowing ideas from different disciplines to solve unique problems. This book will be an enjoyable read for anyone interested in learning more about what it takes to succeed today.”
“Range is a tour de force of scientific evidence that debunks the myth of specialization. With meticulous research and examples from history, David Epstein makes a convincing case for why generalists are essential in our rapidly changing world.”
“Range is a thought-provoking and compelling read. It offers convincing arguments in support of the idea that generalists are better problem solvers than specialists and makes a strong case for why we should all aspire to be more versatile learners.”
“Range is a great read for anyone interested in learning more about the benefits of being a generalist. Epstein does an excellent job of presenting research on why generalists are often better problem-solvers than specialists, and provides many interesting examples to support his argument. The book is well written and easy to follow, making it enjoyable to read.”