Summary of The Geography of Genius

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9 Overall

7 Applicability

9 Innovation

9 Style


Best-selling author Eric Weiner asks why “genius clusters” have formed in certain places at various times in history. Seeking an answer, he went to those places: Athens, Hangzhou, Florence, Edinburgh, Calcutta, Vienna and Silicon Valley. He discusses why geniuses become marginalized members of society; how drinking establishments, clubs and coffeehouses foster creativity clusters; and why many geniuses were prolific in several fields. Weiner explores the nature of genius as well as the environments that foster its development. Happily, he stops short of drawing specific conclusions. getAbstract recommends his smart, witty and engaging exploration of the places that spawned world-changing advances in art, science, medicine and other endeavors.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Athens, Hangzhou, Florence, Edinburgh, Calcutta, Vienna and Silicon Valley fostered genius; and
  • What characteristics geniuses share.

About the Author

Eric Weiner is the author of The New York Times bestsellers The Geography of Bliss and Man Seeks God, and is a former foreign correspondent for National Public Radio.



Genius Clusters
Artificial intelligence researcher Margaret Boden defines creative genius as “the ability to come up with ideas that are new, surprising and valuable,” the same criteria that the US Patent Office uses to issue patents. In 1869, natural scientist Sir Francis Galton, an avatar...

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