Bounce : Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success

| November 15, 2010

Title: Bounce : Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success
Author: Matthew Syed
Publisher: New York : Harper, c2010.
Check It Out:  BF637.S8 S867 2010

From the Publisher:  In the vein of the international bestselling Freakonomics, award-winning journalist Matthew Syed reveals the hidden clues to success—in sports, business, school, and just about anything else that you’d want to be great at. Fans of Predictably Irrational and Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point will find many interesting and helpful insights in Bounce.

Why have all the sprinters who have run the 100 meters in under ten seconds been black?

What’s one thing Mozart, Venus Williams, and Michelangelo have in common?

Is it good to praise a child’s intelligence?

Why are baseball players so superstitious?

Few things in life are more satisfying than beating a rival. We love to win and hate to lose, whether it’s on the playing field or at the ballot box, in the office or in the classroom. In this bold new look at human behavior, award-winning journalist and Olympian Matthew Syed explores the truth about our competitive nature—why we win, why we don’t, and how we really play the game of life. Bounce reveals how competition—the most vivid, primal, and dramatic of human pursuits—provides vital insight into many of the most controversial issues of our time, from biology and economics, to psychology and culture, to genetics and race, to sports and politics.

Backed by cutting-edge scientific research and case studies, Syed shatters long-held myths about meritocracy, talent, performance, and the mind. He explains why some people thrive under pressure and others choke, and weighs the value of innate ability against that of practice, hard work, and will. From sex to math, from the motivation of children to the culture of big business, Bounce shows how competition provides a master key with which to unlock the mysteries of the world.

MatLab code is available on the book’s Web site, which includes a simple demonstration of image convolution.

About the Author: Matthew Syed is a columnist for The Times of London and a commentator for the BBC. He has been named British Sports Feature Writer of the Year by the Sports Journalists’ Association and has received the British Press Award for Sports Journalist of the Year. He is also a three-time Commonwealth table tennis champion, a two-time Olympian, and a graduate of Oxford University. Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success is his first book.

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