The author's refreshing viewpoint is based on deep research into what characterizes successful professional performance ... All readers eager to look into the next trench over for innovative ideas to solve their problems will welcome this remarkable, densely packed work that will prove essential for all university libraries supporting AAA level athletics programs, colleges of business, and human resource development.
So what is the evidence for this happy thesis? Epstein serves up a feast of it, displaying his own impressively wide range of interests: art, classical music, jazz, science, technology and sports ... Although the book unfolds according to a formula that has become familiar—story, study, lesson; rinse and repeat—the storytelling is so dramatic, the wielding of data so deft and the lessons so strikingly framed that it’s never less than a pleasure to read. Indeed, so smooth and persuasive is Epstein’s marshaling of evidence that I almost failed to notice an ambiguity lurking at the heart of his case ... What worries me is that this emphasis—what social scientists call 'restriction of range'—might skew Epstein’s moral just a bit. Let’s say, as a crude approximation, that Success = talent + practice + luck. Those who are richly endowed with talent may find it easy to excel in multiple domains, to be Renaissance men and women, to be decathletes of life. (The example of Leonardo da Vinci comes to mind.) The rest of us, however, must lean heavily on the practice part of the equation.
In his latest book...Mr. Epstein makes a well-supported and smoothly written case on behalf of breadth and late starts ... The chapter titled 'Deliberate Amateurs' is a delight, permitting us to spend time with some exemplars in science and medicine who have stepped outside of their cozy professional nests ... as David Epstein shows us, cultivating range prepares us for the wickedly unanticipated.