The Geography of Genius
A Search for the World's Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley
By Eric Weiner
Narrated by Eric Weiner / 14 hours 10 minutes
“In his latest quest, acclaimed travel writer Weiner takes readers on a journey to discover creative places that inspire and cultivate geniuses. Time-traveling from ancient Athens to modern Silicon Valley with Hangzhou, Florence, Edinburgh, Calcutta, and Vienna as stops along the way, Weiner conducts a grand tour of those places thought to be conducive to ingenuity. He asks, What was in the air, and can we bottle it? A fascinating and entertaining literary treat connecting culture and creativity.”Kathleen Dixon, Fair Isle Books
Travel the world with Eric Weiner, the New York Times bestselling author of The Geography of Bliss, as he journeys from Athens to Silicon Valley—and throughout history, too—to show how creative genius flourishes in specific places at specific times.
In The Geography of Genius, acclaimed travel writer Weiner sets out to examine the connection between our surroundings and our most innovative ideas. He explores the history of places, like Vienna of 1900, Renaissance Florence, ancient Athens, Song Dynasty Hangzhou, and Silicon Valley, to show how certain urban settings are conducive to ingenuity. And, with his trademark insightful humor, he walks the same paths as the geniuses who flourished in these settings to see if the spirit of what inspired figures like Socrates, Michelangelo, and Leonardo remains. In these places, Weiner asks, “What was in the air, and can we bottle it?”
This link can be traced back through history: Darwin’s theory of evolution gelled while he was riding in a carriage. Freud did his best thinking at this favorite coffee house. Beethoven, like many geniuses, preferred long walks in the woods.
Sharp and provocative, The Geography of Genius redefines the argument about how genius came to be. His reevaluation of the importance of culture in nurturing creativity is an informed romp through history that will surely jumpstart a national conversation.
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