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Summary

The instant Sunday Times top 10 and New York Times best seller.

Shortlisted for the Financial Times/Mckinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2019.

A Financial Times Essential Reads of 2019 pick.

A powerful argument for how to succeed in any field: develop broad interests and skills while everyone around you is rushing to specialize. From the ‘10,000 hours rule’ to the power of Tiger parenting, we have been taught that success in any field requires early specialisation 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 book, David Epstein shows you that the way to succeed 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 demonstrates why in most fields - especially those that are complex and unpredictable - generalists, not specialists are primed to excel. No matter what you do, where you are in life, whether you are a teacher, student, scientist, business analyst, parent, job hunter, retiree, you will see the world differently after you've listened to Range. You'll understand better how we solve problems, how we learn and how we succeed. You'll see why failing a test is the best way to learn and why frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, Range shows how people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive and why spreading your knowledge across multiple domains is the key to your success and how to achieve it.

©2019 David Epstein (P)2019 Penguin Random House LLC

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)

"It’s a joy to spend hours in the company of a writer as gifted as David Epstein." (Susan Cain, best-selling author of Quiet."

"Urgent and important...an essential read for bosses, parents, coaches, and anyone who cares about improving performance." (Daniel H. Pink)

What listeners say about Range

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  • HM
  • 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.

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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

6 people found this helpful

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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

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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.

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Very interesting but high repetitive

Nice piece of work but too repetitive. Basically the whole book makes a case for a multidisciplinary approach to life and it all makes sense but after a couple of chapters it is basically repeating the same concept on and on again

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Thought provoking

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

2 people found this helpful

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Well written argument for broad knowledge

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

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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.

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eqch chapter has its own story

loved it and highly recommend. boom. need more words to complete this review for audible.

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Life changing

This book is a must read! It has been a key in my life, understanding my path and carving one out for the future. Having a wide experience is actually positive unlike what lots of people believe.

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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.

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  • Ashlea
  • 16-02-21

Fantastic...

just read it... it will expand narrow views on what it takes to be successful!

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  • RMR
  • 10-02-21

Necessary for anyone with ambition or self doubt

I loved the variety of case studies and was surprised by the number of people I thought were specialists who I now know we're generalists.

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  • Wayne Phillips
  • 31-01-21

Life changing and life affirming

This books helped me at a period in life where I left my career comfort zone and decided to Explore a carrier in a new domain. Ive been successful as a Special but at peace with adding Range so late in life, so keep growing and be more diverse and hopefully innovate

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  • Roseygirl13
  • 18-01-21

Wide ranging examples, easy listen

Great tone and speed, examples were well founded, researched and personalised to appeal to a wide range of listeners

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-01-21

Always intersting and insightful

Especially since being an expert may soon be detrimental to a career and leads many to slog through a life they never wanted

experiencing societal createyths of life crises
time after time generation after generation

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  • Saleha
  • 23-12-20

Awesome insight!

Absolutely loved it! This is an amazing book and most encouraging! The real life examples and stories provide a great insight to what I thought was 'taboo' in the current world.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-09-20

one of my most valuable and enjoyable

excellent. well done David. Thank you for the extra range that you have given my brain.

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  • Emmanuel Tarfa
  • 27-09-20

Amazing book

A great Recommendation for all ...The ideas discussed should be applied in education and government.

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  • Sagar
  • 27-09-20

Waste of time

The entire book could have been just one line - there are benefits to being a generalist rather than a specialist - and you would get it. The book stretched this way too much through unnecessary examples and stories that are hard to buy into or empathize with.