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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 (16 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)

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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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  • 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.

2 of 2 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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Bliss
  • 05-09-19

Broaden your mind

This is one of these books that explains science so very well that it becomes a joy to read (listen). It provides deep insights into human learning and achievement. It is also very immersive to read if you have a broad interest and are not specialised in this field ;-)

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  • Georgia
  • 29-08-19

Great book and advice at the same time!

So many corporate senior managers should read or listen to this book. Its very straightforward, takes a few hours only, many relevant examples and overall jammed with common sence.

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  • MK
  • 29-08-19

A must read for young Parents

In today's world of social pressure leading to overburden kids this book provides ample stories and reasons to lean back on to stay the course of Human sense to the little ones .

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  • Bjørn-Rune Hanssen
  • 28-08-19

Fantastic

I don’t make a habit of giving rave reviews, but here is one: This book is my new Bible.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-08-19

Good argument for not specialising early in life

I really enjoyed listening to the arguement that early specialisation is not always the most optimum path for all careers, particularly in the creative world. Worth a listening to.

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  • Tom
  • 09-07-19

A refreshing and deeply interesting book.

If like me you’ve never been a specialist and feel that being a jack of all trades is a curse then this will turn your attitudes around. We are all capable of significant change but it is so important that we are true to ourselves and if you’re someone who has a love of many things you should embrace that and grow from it

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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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  • 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.

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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.