The Genius in All of Us

New Insights into Genetics, Talent, and IQ

by David Shenk

Number of pages: 400

Publisher: AMACOM

BBB Library: Personal Success

ISBN: 9780307387301

About the Author

Shenk is the award-winning and national-bestselling author of six books, including "The Forgetting" and "The Immortal Game." He is a popular lecturer and a short-film director.


Editorial Review

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.

Book Reviews

"Such efforts have resulted in a deeply interesting and important book." The New York Times

"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." The Guardian

"The big idea in this book is that talent is not a matter of genetic endowment, but of an ongoing interaction between genes and environment." The Independent

"Shenk does a great job reviewing some of the cutting-edge research on epigenetics, and does a service emphasizing the importance ofnature/nurture interactions."Psychology Today

Books on Related Topics

Wisdom to Share

Genes dictate. Genes instruct. Genes determine. For more than a century, this has been the widely accepted explanation of how each of us becomes us.

Talent is not a thing; it’s a process.

Regardless of whether a child seems to be exceptional, mediocre or even awful at any particular skill at a particular point in time, the potential exists for that person to develop into a high-achieving adult.

The genius in all of us is our built-in ability to improve ourselves and our world.

Everything shapes us and everything can be shaped by us.