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The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley by [Weiner, Eric]
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The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Length: 369 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of January 2016: Eric Weiner’s first book, The Geography of Bliss, found him in search of the happiest places on Earth. Now, in The Geography of Genius, he looks for creative hotbeds where geniuses from Socrates to Steve Jobs thrived, and asks why. Moreover, why do these hotbeds eventually fizzle? The book—an irreverent and surprisingly entertaining blend of historical biography, travel essay, and sociological study—centers around this quote by Plato: “What is honored in a country will be cultivated there,” be it intellectual discourse, art, music, literature, or life-altering gadgets like the iPhone. In the process of determining the conditions by which golden ages of genius happened when and where they did, Weiner also uncovers intriguing anecdotes that serve to illuminate and humanize god-like “characters” like Michelangelo, Beethoven, and Freud. He likewise stumbles upon answers to compelling questions like, why does genius seem like such a boy’s club? I am one of those people who dog-ear pages that contain things I find particularly interesting, and few pages of this book remained intact. There are enough fascinating and fun factoids in The Geography of Genius to keep you supplied at cocktail parties and around water coolers for years. But aside from that, it documents a moving quest that wasn’t undertaken just to satisfy a journalist’s curiosity. Weiner is a father and while it’s supposedly “too late for him,” his young daughter can still reap the lessons he learned from his travels, from defining genius, and apply them to her life. I would argue it isn’t too late for any of us. –Erin Kodicek

Review

"A witty, entertaining romp. Weiner’s vivid descriptions of modern-day life in each locale make the spots feel like must-visit destinations.”
The New York Times Book Review

“There are some writers whose company is worth keeping, whatever the subject… And Mr. Weiner is blessed with this gift. He is a prober and questioner, a big-hearted humanist who will always take a colorful, contradictory reality over some unfounded certainty.”
Wall Street Journal

"A global odyssey that seeks to discover why geniuses gather in certain places during certain eras and why these hot spots burn out, often after a half-century of grand achievements. Weiner is a superb travel guide: funny, knowledgeable, self-deprecating and always up for sharing a bottle of wine."
Washington Post

"The Geography of Genius is witty, informative, and compulsively readable. Whether you’re getting genius tips from Freud in Vienna or hearing the secrets of high-tech powerhouses in Silicon Valley, you’ll emerge smarter after reading this delightful travelogue of ingenuity."
— Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of To Sell Is Human and Drive

"It’s rare to read a book that makes you laugh and learn, but Eric Weiner has done it again. This witty, wise explorer offers fascinating insights on how culture has inspired creativity across the ages—ripe for chats at water coolers and cocktail parties—and offers a practical map for how we can all become a bit more inventive."
— Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals

"Eric Weiner has single-handedly invented a new nonfiction genre in which a brilliant and hilarious writer leaves his home and family to circle the globe in search of the answer to a timeless question. The Geography of Genius is an intellectual odyssey, a traveler’s diary, and a comic novel all rolled into one. Smart, original, and utterly delightful, this is Weiner’s best book yet."
— Daniel Gilbert, Harvard professor and bestselling author of Stumbling on Happiness


“An entertaining and thought-provoking book, a combination of history and travelogue… Part of the book's charm stems from the pure joy of experiencing these places alongside a narrator like Weiner… His wry wit shines through as he drinks sublime tea in China and contemplates a coffin collar in an Edinburgh museum; as he interviews figures such as Jack Ma, a Hangzhou native who founded multibillion dollar company Alibaba; and as he wanders the Ringstrasse of Vienna and the strip malls of Silicon Valley, pondering the conditions that lead to genius.”
Christian Science Monitor

"Why do certain places produce a spontaneous eruption of creativity? What made Athens and Florence and Silicon Valley? This witty and fun book has an insight in every paragraph. It’s a charming mix of history and wisdom cloaked as a rollicking travelogue filled with colorful characters."
— Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of The Innovators and Steve Jobs

"Weiner is an affable tour guide and a lively, witty writer in the style of Bill Bryson; the connections he makes between places of genius are sharp and sometime unexpected."
Booklist

“Informative and dryly witty, Weiner's odyssey is both an insightful examination of genius and a call to readers to explore their own untapped creative resources.”
Shelf Awareness (starred review)

“Fun and thought provoking.”
Miami Herald

"Weiner illustrates the power that culture and location can lend to creative efforts. Using a series of well-crafted travel essays the author propels readers across the globe… A welcome read for lovers of geography, history of geography, historical travel, travelogues, and the history of science."
Library Journal (starred review)

“Well read, thoughtful and above all curious, Weiner invites the reader to explore a satisfying take on a meaningful topic while also enjoying daily pleasures in cities around the world.”
— BookPage.com

"In the genial style of Bill Bryson, Weiner scouts the world looking for places that have spawned geniuses."
Kirkus Reviews


Product details

  • File Size: 7860 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (January 5, 2016)
  • Publication Date: January 5, 2016
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00UDCNMI2
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,916 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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