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Range

How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
Written by: David Epstein
Narrated by: Will Damron
Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Range is the groundbreaking and exhilarating exploration into how to be successful in the 21st century, from David Epstein, the acclaimed author of The Sports Gene.

What if everything you have been taught about how to succeed in life was wrong?

From the ‘10,000 hours rule’ to the power of tiger parenting, we have been taught that success in any field requires early specialization and many hours of deliberate practice. And, worse, that if you dabble or delay, you'll never catch up with those who got a head start. 

This is completely wrong.

In this landmark audiobook, David Epstein shows that the way to excel is by sampling widely, gaining a breadth of experiences, taking detours, experimenting relentlessly, juggling many interests - in other words, by developing range.

Studying the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors and scientists, Epstein discovered that in most fields - especially those that are complex and unpredictable - generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. They are also more creative, more agile and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see. Range proves that by spreading your knowledge across multiple domains is the key to success rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area.

Provocative, rigorous and engrossing, Range explains how to maintain the benefits of breadth, diverse experience and interdisciplinary thinking in a world that increasingly demands hyperspecialization.

©2019 David Epstein (P)2019 Macmillan Digital Audio

Critic Reviews

"David Epstein manages to make me thoroughly enjoy the experience of being told that everything I thought about something was wrong. I loved Range." (Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of Outliers)

What members say

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  • Panashe
  • 08-07-19

Hopeful message for the late bloomers

Great book with some fascinating insights about the benefits of experimenting with different fields. A lot of the content is covered in other books but it comes together nicely in Range.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Hari T
  • 30-06-19

One of the best books I have listened to

A very well composed tome which draws from different spheres of life into an impressive whole, this book should be compulsory reading at 2 points in life - before starting college and when you hit middle age. The 10 hours of listening that you invest in this will pay off in spades in later life.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. R. H. Barnes
  • 02-10-19

this book could be half the length

interesting concept but I had to give up reading as it just providing multiple examples to make the same point as the intro - stay broad to start with and then specialise later

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-09-19

Fantastic - As a serial career changer, this has demolished my guilt and imposter syndrome that tends to accompany such a career

A tonic for those interested in everything not just something.

Thank you David Epstein - Genius and timely

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tyler
  • 16-08-19

Thought provoking

Great deal of detail and anecdotes to back up hypothesis. Personally came away with a changed view on specialisation.

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  • Tommi Jokela
  • 05-10-19

Well written argument for broad knowledge

Intriguing perspective on how it might be better to broaden your knowledge rather than deepen it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marc
  • 28-09-19

The Wide World of Why to Wander

Epstein delivers a resonant and robust case for exploring the world as a Jack of All Trades rather than (it at least before) becoming a master of one.

This book will challenge you and release you from rigid overspecialised assumptions.

Tremendously fascinating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • R.
  • 04-07-19

Should have been a blog post

Another book that should have been a blog post with links to the examples used.

Sadly, I can see this book being used by average performers to reassure themselves that it’s ok not to try because then they’d specialise, and that’s somehow bad.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Stuart
  • 29-10-19

Amazing - I will gift this regularly

For anyone interested in sport, science, or considering a career shift this is a great book. Brilliant story telling to bring the messages home.

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  • Katty
  • 17-10-19

Great book with interesting ideas

I loved the book and listened to it in two days. This book gives multi-passionate people hope that we're normal after all!

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  • Tej Talks Podcast
  • 05-10-19

great book!

fascinating stories and learnings throughout. really reccomend this book, well read too. by it now!

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  • Mr Ben HA Ramsden
  • 12-08-19

Best book that I have read in a while

Very readable, thoroughly researched and well argued. The one key theme is explored across multiple dimensions. Despite its length and single theme there is no fluff. Case studies are very engaging. I plan to re-listen immediately.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-19

Range is Worth a listen

A wide variety of examples and stories compiled. An interesting listen. Would definitly recommended it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-10-19

A must read

Excellent book! So many take-away points to apply to daily life, performance and raising kids.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-09-19

The author lives like he teaches

A rather slow start, but after all, a compelling story and long-lasting impact!

As a Finnish primary care doctor - and generalist, I think that the author gets the point in many ways but I would love to read more about generalists in health care.

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  • Carolyn
  • 20-08-19

Innovation and excellence - great resource

Such an interesting read!
My only comment is that there are a lot of references I would like to access so would very much appreciate a pdf of the reference list!
I liked it so much I have just ordered the hard copy (to use as a teaching resource).
Thanks David and Will!

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  • Amy
  • 08-08-19

Terrific research on fascinating topic

Loved this book on opening my mind to being closed. Refreshing to hear how important our broad experience is to our success and thats its never too late to reach that success.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-08-19

Everyone should read this book

This book is a fascinating look into the importance of diversity of thought, open mindedness and range of knowledge in problem solving, success and happiness. It even delves into the psychology of how we learn. This is a book everyone should read.

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  • Glenn E Farrell
  • 28-07-19

Fascinating.

Well I love this book. Maybe because it affirms me...?

It certainly makes a compelling case for generalisation over specialisation and ought to reassure anyone concerned they’ve made “wrong” career choices bravely to move on and leverage current skills on a new pursuit.