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Genius Explained
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  • Page extent: 236 pages
  • Size: 216 x 138 mm
  • Weight: 0.31 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521008495 | ISBN-10: 0521008492)

DOI: 10.2277/0521008492

  • Published May 2001

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 17:01 GMT, 26 November 2015)


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 Brontë sisters, Michael Faraday and Albert Einstein in this fascinating and accessible book which will be of interest to academics, students and the interested lay reader.

• An interesting look at the development and nature of genius by a leading psychologist • Biographical study of leading geniuses from the arts and sciences, with supplementary biographical data in the reference section • This is a topic of great general and professional interest, written in an engaging, accessible style


Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. The young Charles Darwin; 3. The long ascent of George Stephenson; 4. Michael Faraday; 5. Manufacturing genius; 6. Einstein and the prodigies; 7. The expertise of great writers; 8. Inventing and discovering; 9. Born to be a genius?; Appendix: personalia; References; Index.


'… an enjoyable and informative book … His insights are thought-provoking … This argument, worked through the case histories, is not only impressive but encouraging, opening the way up to all of us and our children.' Galton Institute Newsletter

'The richness of Howe's examples and his clear flowing writing style, recommend this book for serious popular readers.' Contemporary Psychology

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