The Geography of Genius – Eric Weiner

The Geography of Genius - Eric WeinerWeiner previously wrote the very entertaining Geography of Bliss where he related happiness to geographical places: Bhutan = very happy; Moldava = very unhappy. In this book he examines places notable for genius (aka creativity). Some are predictable (Ancient Athens, Florence at the time of Leonardo and Michelangelo, present day Silicon Valley) but some are surprising (Edinburgh, Calcutta). Part of his thesis is that genius is urban and dependent on lively conversations – the importance of formal discussion groups or informal discussions at coffee shops or even pubs (The Inklings discussing writing in an Oxford pub). Therefore, environment is key and genetics plays a minor part. Of course he is selective in presenting studies that support a subjective point of view. Nevertheless, the book is entertaining with much self-deprecating humour. Thanks Mary for this recommendation.