The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley by Eric Weiner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Why do some places and times produce more geniuses than other times? Is there a set of requirements that must be in place in order to produce genius? Eric Weiner wanted to find out, so he visited seven places where genius flourished: Athens, Florence, Hangzhou, Edinburgh, Calcutta, Vienna, and Silicon Valley. In each place, Weiner interviewed local historians, philosophers, entrepreneurs, artists, and other experts in a variety of fields about what genius looks like, and why their locale supported genius. He discovered that genius appeared most often in urban settings where there was an intersection of uncertainty, chaos, money, education, and new cultures through immigration.
The writing was humorous, and full of interesting trivia. I found the chapters on Athens, Florence, and Edinburgh particularly interesting because I've traveled to those places, and as a social studies/history teacher I've taught about many of the cultures that created the places he visited.
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