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Range

How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
Narrated by: Will Damron
Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (227 ratings)

Non-member price: $18.22

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Publisher's Summary

Range is the groundbreaking and exhilarating exploration into how to be successful in the 21st century, from David Epstein, the acclaimed author of The Sports Gene.

What if everything you have been taught about how to succeed in life was wrong?

From the ‘10,000 hours rule’ to the power of tiger parenting, we have been taught that success in any field requires early specialization 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 audiobook, David Epstein shows that the way to excel 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 discovered that in most fields - especially those that are complex and unpredictable - generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. They are also more creative, more agile and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see. Range proves that by spreading your knowledge across multiple domains is the key to success rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area.

Provocative, rigorous and engrossing, Range explains how to maintain the benefits of breadth, diverse experience and interdisciplinary thinking in a world that increasingly demands hyperspecialization.

©2019 David Epstein (P)2019 Macmillan Digital Audio

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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Best book that I have read in a while

Very readable, thoroughly researched and well argued. The one key theme is explored across multiple dimensions. Despite its length and single theme there is no fluff. Case studies are very engaging. I plan to re-listen immediately.

1 person found this helpful

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Was the perfect audiobook to start a new semester

I listened to Range about a chapter a day for two weeks. For most of those days it was the most thoughful part. I found the ideas in this book to be immensely comforting, it made me want to push myself to explore .

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Must read for any doctor or medical student

One of the best books I've read. Resonate with it highly. For any future medic, this is on par with House of God.

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great book especially if your a ranger

really enjoyed this, narrator is great. information well put together and wide ranging! highly recommend for people with varied interests or who have kids

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Worthy of the bookshelf

One of my new favourites and one of those books that you read again. Wonderful work.

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I loved every word of this book

I will definately be listening again. This book opened up new ways of thinking and confirmed ideas Ive beem pondering.

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Range is Worth a listen

A wide variety of examples and stories compiled. An interesting listen. Would definitly recommended it.

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A must read

Excellent book! So many take-away points to apply to daily life, performance and raising kids.

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The author lives like he teaches

A rather slow start, but after all, a compelling story and long-lasting impact!

As a Finnish primary care doctor - and generalist, I think that the author gets the point in many ways but I would love to read more about generalists in health care.

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Innovation and excellence - great resource

Such an interesting read!
My only comment is that there are a lot of references I would like to access so would very much appreciate a pdf of the reference list!
I liked it so much I have just ordered the hard copy (to use as a teaching resource).
Thanks David and Will!

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  • Panashe
  • 08-07-2019

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-03-2020

Life changing

This is a book that everyone should read. Epstein’s advice, backed up with both data and anecdotes, are words which I wish I had understood when I was younger. I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone

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  • Rodrigo Echeverri
  • 19-02-2020

Fantastically counterintuitive

Epstein dares challenge the very principles of society’s revered academic system, which is built upon specialisation.

He delightfully illustrates his point with several examples, in which achievements are reached only because of exposure to multi-disciplinary thinking.

This book has made me reconsider my approach to the education of my child.

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  • Hari T
  • 30-06-2019

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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-09-2019

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

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. R. H. Barnes
  • 02-10-2019

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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  • Tyler
  • 16-08-2019

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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  • R.
  • 04-07-2019

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Alessio Malizia
  • 16-12-2019

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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  • Tommi Jokela
  • 05-10-2019

Well written argument for broad knowledge

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marc
  • 28-09-2019

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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  • Marcus
  • 24-03-2020

Insightful, clear and compelling

A genuinely compelling case to broaden our scope and range allows us to thrive in narrow fields where creativity is required. The case isn’t that deep and narrow expertise isn’t important too but it does blow holes in the argument that early specialisation is a must to attain excellence in sport, music, science and business. A strong case for general education and exposure to a wide variety of roles, industries and skills

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-03-2020

Wide and Deep!

A nice reminder of the value of broad experiences and skills -- in a world that exalts specialists.