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The Geography of Genius: A Search for the…

The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative…

by Eric Weiner

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183491,455 (3.48)17



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Book on CD read by the author

The subtitle is all the synopsis you need: A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places, from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley.

Weiner explores the culture of various cities and eras that resulted in an environment that fostered genius – Ancient Athens, Hangzhou in the time of the Song Dynasty, Renaissance Florence, 18th century Edinburgh, Calcutta from about 1840 to 1920, Vienna with TWO golden ages, separated by nearly a century (Mozart to Freud), and California’s Silicon Valley.

He looks at whether individual effort was more important than cooperation within a group; how financial need influenced the genius; the role of nurture vs nature; and the preponderance of failure which spurs the genius to continue working. It’s an interesting book, but not a particularly compelling one, and there were times when I just zoned out. Still, I learned a little about a variety of subjects.

Weiner reads the audio book himself. He clearly has a passion for the subject, which is especially evident in the epilogue. ( )
  BookConcierge | Sep 16, 2016 |
Reading "The Geography of Genius" by Eric Weiner felt like I was on the journey with him. The Author seeks to determine why genius occurs geographically in clusters. He travels all over the globe, going to Athens, Greece to the Silicon Valley to try and figure out if there is a reason why genius seems to pop up (genius is meant as a time when greats were alive at the same time, such as Beethoven and Mozart, Socrates and Plato, etc.) randomly throughout time around the globe.

If you are reading this book and hoping it is filled with 100% accurate facts, you will be disappointed. If you are desiring to go on a journey and learn about new places/people, then you will be delighted. The Author has chosen the 1st person narrative for this book and it works.

Also, it is not a book to be read in one sitting... it is more of read a chapter, put down and digest.

***I received this book through GoodReads Member Giveaway. The opinion is solely my own.*** ( )
  HeatherMS | Feb 27, 2016 |
I guess I am too much of a linear thinker. This book seemed like an accretion of facts and interviews that were thrown together, it just did not work for me. ( )
  brewbooks | Feb 17, 2016 |
Having taken on the geography of happiness in The Geography of Bliss, author Eric Weiner now turns his attention to the geography of genius. Weiner takes a close look at places on the earth that have been hotspots of creativity in the past and then visits these places with an eye out for causation. A fascinating read. ( )
  debnance | Feb 6, 2016 |
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Book description
Cities included:  Athens, Hangzhou, Florence, Edinburgh, Calcutta,
 Vienna, Silicon Valley

Boudin bakery, San Francisco

All great human advancements are a response to a challenge
ideas that are new, surprising, and valuable:  Athens 450BC, Florence 1500, etc.
culture where creativity is nurtured    climate of perfect weather in Athens great for walking
southern exposure  Greeks always wanted to do better  competition
performance is better when not evaluated
challenges of ancient Gr  Appolodorus  spiritual depth; complex landscape  Gr architecture; complex times Gr philosophy
those who didn't speak Gr were barbarians
Hang Zhou  919-1276  Song dynasty  blind to tolerance  wood block printing first printed book
Florence mid weifed screws of geniuses  Michelangelo and Michelangelo  what is honored is cultivated
(Plato)  florin, lily, St. John Baptist
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An acclaimed travel writer examines the connection between surroundings and innovative ideas, profiling examples in such regions as early-twentieth-century Vienna, Renaissance Florence, ancient Athens, and Silicon Valley. --Publisher

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