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Main page » Non-Fiction » Science literature » Genius Explained

Genius Explained


The cherished view of genius is that it is a special inborn gift: something mysterious, even miraculous. In Genius Explained, psychologist Michael Howe traces the lives of some exceptionally creative men and women, including Charles Darwin, the Brontë sisters, George Eliot, Michael Faraday, Albert Einstein and the railway inventor George Stephenson. Their biographies reveal how the extraordinary capabilities of these people were clearly rooted in the experiences and opportunities that forged their characters. Eschewing mysticism, Howe's study shows that to be a genius demands a strong sense of direction and an extraordinary degree of commitment, focus, practice, ardous training and drive. Michael J.A. Howe is professor of psychology at the University of Exeter. He is the author of A Teacher's Guide to the Psychology of Learning (Blackwell, 1999) and The Psychology of High Abilities (New York University Press, 1999). Previous paperback edition (1999) 0-521-64968-4

In Genius Explained Michael J. A. Howe addresses the commonly held belief that genius is born not made. Controversially he suggests that genius is not a mysterious and mystical gift but the product of a combination of environment, personality and sheer hard work. The exceptional talents of those we call geniuses are the result of a unique set of circumstances and opportunities but in every case they are pursued and exploited with a characteristic drive, determination and focus which the rest of us rarely show. Michael J. A. Howe develops these ideas through a series of case studies focusing on famous figures such as Charles Darwin, George Eliot, George Stevenson, the Bronte sisters, Michael Faraday and Albert Einstein in this fascinating and accessible book which will be of interest to academics and students of intelligence and the interested lay reader.

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