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Powers of Two: How Relationships Drive Creativity Paperback – April 7, 2015
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—Chicago Tribune"We sometimes think of creativity as coming from brilliant loners. In fact, it more often happens when bright people pair up and complement each other. Shenk’s fascinating book shows how to spark the power of this phenomenon."
—Walter Isaacson"When I spoke with John Lennon in 1980—the final in-depth interview of his life—he described writing many songs 'eyeball to eyeball' with Paul McCartney. Powers of Two conveys the intimacy and complexity of their collaboration—and collaboration in general—with brilliant clarity."
—David Sheff, author of All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono
"In this surprising, compelling, deeply felt book, Joshua Wolf Shenk banishes the idea of solitary genius by demonstrating that our richest art and science come from collaboration: we need one another not only for love, but also for thinking and imagining and growing and being."
"All future accounts of artistry and innovation will be enriched by the treasures Joshua Wolf Shenk has uncovered in the creativity of pairs."
—Lewis Hyde, author of The Gift
"Powers of Two is a dramatic, often delightful demonstration of a truth we usually ignore: great accomplishments are rarely the work of a single person. If you aspire to be creative, the most important step might be finding a trusted partner who can support your strengths and offset your weaknesses."
—Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow
"This is a book about magic; about the Beatles; about the chemistry between people; about neuroscience; and about the buddy system; it examines love and hate, harmony and dissonance, and everything in between. The result is wise, funny, surprising, and completely engrossing."
"Powers of Two is filled with keen insights into the human condition and terrific examples of creativity at work. This is an inspiring book that also happens to be a great read."
—Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive
“Fascinating…[a] provocative thesis on the genesis of creative innovation.”
“Quick, find a buddy. Shenk, New School professor and author of Lincoln’s Melancholy, looks at pairs—Marie and Paul Curie or Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak—to show that working in tandem can release the creative juices.”
“Intriguing...interesting, even eye-opening, illuminating a complicated subject.”
From the Back Cover
Lennon and McCartney, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Pierre and Marie Curie. Throughout history, partners have buoyed each other to better work though often one member is little known to the general public. (See Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, or Vincent and Theo van Gogh.) In Powers of Two, Joshua Wolf Shenk draws on neuroscience, social psychology, and cultural history to present the social foundations of creativity, with the pair as its primary embodiment. Revealing the six essential stages through which creative intimacy unfolds, Shenk shows how pairs begin to talk, think, and even look like each other; how the most successful ones thrive on conflict; and why some cease to work together while others carry on. At once intuitive and deeply surprising, Powers of Two will reshape the way you view individuals, relationships, and society itself.
Sterling . . . a rare glimpse into the private realms of duos . . . Shenk is a natural storyteller. Sarah Lewis, New York Times
In this surprising, compelling, deeply felt book, Joshua Wolf Shenk banishes the idea of solitary genius by demonstrating that our richest art and science come from collaboration: we need one another not only for love, but also for thinking and imagining and growing and being. Andrew Solomon
[AU PHOTO] JOSHUA WOLF SHENK is a curator, essayist, and the author of Lincolns Melancholy, named one of the best books of 2005 by the New York Times. Shenk is a contributor to the Atlantic,The New Yorker, the New York Times, and other publications. A member of The Moths general council, he directs the Arts in Mind series on creativity and psychology. He lives in Los Angeles.
An Eamon Dolan Book
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This would have been a great book if Malcom Gladwell had done the research and writing. Gladwell is a master of scope. He finds the little stories which balances out the fame and fortune, giving a more fully normal and human take on the subject.
I think partnership is a subject worthy of further investigation. I feel we are too focused on the hero who saves us. We need to better understand the role of groups. Crowd sourcing is likely more powerful and partnership in the big picture.
Readers will understand why they have had both rewarding and frustrating experiences when navigating these relationships. I have found myself reflecting upon and sharing the stories of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Watson and Crick, the Wright Brothers, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and so many others. Buy this wonderful read and tap into your innovation and creativity.
Top international reviews
Si dà però molto spazio alla coppia autorale, e il libro analizza dal punto di vista quasi scientifico il loro rapporto ed il modo in cui scrivevano canzoni insieme, aggiungendo tantissimi dettagli e storie inedite.
Ho letto moltissimi libri sui Beatles e questo mi é piaciuto tantissimi perché l'ho trovato originale, creativo, e racconta la coppia autorale da un punto di visto inedito e interessante.