Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $26.95
  • Save: $8.12 (30%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Sports Gene: Inside t... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: A good copy with normal wear for a used book.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance Hardcover – August 1, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 409 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$18.83
$7.29 $4.51

Featured titles in Medicine
The Gene: An Intimate History
The Gene: An Intimate History
The Gene: An Intimate History
$18.83 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance
  • +
  • The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.
Total price: $36.92
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

“I can’t remember a book that has fascinated, educated—and provoked—me as much as The Sports Gene. Epstein has changed forever the way we measure elite athletes and their achievements.”
Malcom Gladwell

“Clear, vivid, and thought-provoking writing that cuts through science anxiety for rank-and-file sports fans.”
Bonnie Ford, Senior Writer, ESPN

“Many researchers and writers are reluctant to tackle genetic issues because they fear the quicksand of racial and ethnic stereotyping. To his credit, Epstein does not flinch.”
The Washington Post 

“Epstein’s rigour in seeking answers and insights is as impressive as the air miles he must have accumulated . . . his book is dazzling and illuminating.”
The Guardian

“Few will put down this deliciously contrarian exploration of great athletic feats.”
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
 
“The narrative follows Mr. Epstein’s search for the roots of elite sport performance as he encounters characters and stories so engrossing that readers may not realize they’re receiving an advanced course in genetics, physiology, and sports medicine.”
Christie AschwandenThe New York Times 

“An important book . . . The Sports Gene is bound to put the cat among the pigeons in the blank-slate crowd who think that we can all be equal as long as we equalize environmental inputs such as practice.”
Michael Shermer, The Wall Street Journal 

“This is the book I’ve been waiting for since the early 1960s. I can’t imagine that anyone interested in sports—particularly the fascinating question, ‘How do the best athletes become the best?’—will be any less enthralled than I.”
Amby Burfoot, (1968 Boston Marathon Champion), Runner's World 

“A must-read for athletes, parents, coaches, and anyone who wants to know what it takes to be great.”
George Dohrmann, author of Play Their Hearts Out
 

About the Author

David Epstein has a master’s degree in environmental science and is an award-winning senior writer for Sports Illustrated, where he covers sports science, medicine, and Olympic sports. His investigative pieces are among Sports Illustrated's most high-profile stories. An avid runner himself, he earned All-East honors on Columbia University's varsity track squad. This is his first book. He lives in Brooklyn.

For more information visit http://thesportsgene.com.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Current (August 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591845114
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591845119
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (409 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Book Shark TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein

"The Sports Gene" is an enjoyable book that shares the latest of modern genetic research as it relates to elite athleticism. In the never-ending quest to settle the debate of nature versus nature, David Epstein takes the readers on a journey into sports and tries to answer how much does each contribute. This fascinating 352-page book includes the following sixteen chapters: 1. Beat by an Underhand Girl: The Gene-Free Model of Expertise, 2. A Tale of Two High Jumpers: (Or: 10,000 Hours Plus or Minus 10,000 Hours), 3. Major League Vision and the Greatest Child Athlete Sample Ever: The Hardware and Software Paradigm, 4. Why Men Have Nipples, 5. The Talent of Trainability, 6. Superbaby, Bully Whippets, and the Trainability of Muscle, 7. The Big Bang of Body Types, 8. The Vitruvian NBA Player, 9. We Are All Black (Sort Of): Race and Genetic Diversity, 10. The Warrior-Slave Theory of Jamaican Sprinting, 11. Malaria and Muscle Fibers, 12. Can Every Kalenjin Run?, 13. The World's Greatest Accidental (Altitudinous) Talent Sieve, 14. Sled Dogs, Ultrarunners, and Couch Potato Genes, 15. The Heartbreak Gene: Death, Injury, and Pain on the Field, and 16 The Gold Medal Mutation.

Positives:
1. Well-written, well-researched book. Epstein is very engaging and keeps the science at a very accessible level.
2. Fascinating topic that sports fans will enjoy. A look at elite athleticism through the eyes of science. Sports elites. I'm there!
3. Epstein does a fantastic job of skillfully handling the very sensitive topic of race and genetics. Any minor miscue and it would have derailed the book but Epstein never lets that happen and should be commended for his utmost care.
4.
Read more ›
6 Comments 122 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
David Epstein delivers an interesting and impressive narrative, through extensive research on sports and genetics. The author highlights what makes a successful athlete, and how to obtain excellence to become one of the elite. The stories and interviews are thought-provoking, and inspiring. This insightful account is a must-read not only for athletes, but coaches, and parents as well. Of all the sports information I've read in books about athletes, this one is a golden gem on this topic. The science behind an athlete's performance is covered to a great extent, and the more you read, the more interesting it becomes. Informative, and educational. Highly recommended!
Comment 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
*A full summary of this book is available here: An Executive Summary of David Epstein's 'The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance'

What does it take to become an elite athlete? The intuitive answer for most of us is that it probably takes some lucky genes on the one hand, and a whole heck of a lot of hard work on the other. Specifically, that we may need to be blessed with a particular body type to excel at a particular sport or discipline (after all, elite marathon runners tend to look far different than elite NFL running backs, who in turn tend to look far different than elite swimmers), but that beyond this it is practice and diligence that paves the way to success. When we look at the science, though--as sports writer David Epstein does in his new book The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance--we find that the story is much more complicated than this. In general terms we find that nature and nurture interact at every step of the way in the development of an elite athlete, and that biology plays far more of a role (and in far more ways) than we may have expected.

To begin with, when it comes to physiology, we find that genetics not only has a large role to play in influencing our height and skeletal structure (as we would expect), but that genes also influence physiology in many other ways that are important when it comes to elite sports.
Read more ›
1 Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Epstein writes well and weaves stories of real people into a narrative that could, in the wrong hands, be quite dry. It's great to see him take on Malcolm Gladwell on the facts. Gladwell writes engaging, popular books that demand some critical review. Epstein does so on Gladwell's 10,000-hour thesis in "Outliers." On many levels it's a 4-star book. I rated as 3-stars largely because it felt like an excellent "Atlantic" article that was stretched into a book. The outcome for me therefore was "average." The conclusion is not surprising -- and perhaps not satisfying -- and you could see it coming from midway through the book.
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow! Just finished reading this book and am still buzzing from it. How to even surmise?

The Sports Gene is the most enjoyable Science writing I have ever read and probably one of the best non-fiction books I can remember reading. It is at once accessible and educational while always being engaging.

I loved learning about what traits help separate the elite from the good, some I knew or could have guessed, many I had no idea (vision in baseball, long torsos short legs in swimming, low hemoglobin in sprinters and a passion for pulling in sled dogs to name a few).

I loved learning about the mutations that geography and history favored that help explain over representation by different Races in certain events, like the Kalenjin in endurance running, certain Asian groups in weightlifting and gymnastics and Europeans from higher latitudes in swimming.

I loved learning that there is so much more that Science doesn't know about genetics and which genes directly result in superior performance. After all the traits discovered which seem to confer an advantage here or there, are but pools in a sea of traits we do not yet understand. My understanding is that there is a potential elite athlete in each of us if can find (or create) the right sport, or more practically an optimal training program if we can figure out what our unique body responds to!

The many personal sports (the world's favorite past time) anecdotes spanning continents and the last centuries sometimes told in the language of genetic science made this reading very engaging and educative.

The Sports Gene is very hard to put down! And I guess that's all I really needed to say! Enjoy, Happy Reading. I can't wait to re-read!
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance