Joshua Wolf Shenk on Creativity and
The Powers of Two

In Conversation with Adam Hochschild

  • Venue: Hillside Club
  • Date: September 25, 2014
  • Time: 7:30 pm
  • Price: $15 general/$10 student in advance; $20 at the door (no discounts)

Join the Greater Good Science Center and Berkeley Arts & Letters for author Joshua Wolf Shenk in conversation with writer Adam Hochschild, cofounder of Mother Jones.

Shenk's new book, Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs examines hundreds of creative duos to understand and unveil the "electrified space" of a partnership. 

As long as we've been interested in creativity, we've been preoccupied by the myth of the lone genius. Shenk busts this fantasy apart and draws on new scientific research to show how the pair is the embodiment of ingenuity. Shenk explains how synergy created the magic of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the hilarity of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the startup savvy of Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg, the financial stylings of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, the civil rights fire of Ralph David Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr., and the genius of scores of others in the fields of writing, music, dance, science, technology, social activism, and business. When it comes to creative success, Shenk persuasively argues that two is the magic number  and understanding why changes everything we thought we knew about creativity.

Books will be available for purchase, and signing follows the program. 

Joshua Wolf Shenk is the author of Lincoln's Melancholy, a New York Times Notable Book. A contributor to the Atlantic, Harper's, The New Yorker, and other publications, he directs the Arts in Mind series on creativity and serves on the general council of The Moth.

Adam Hochschild is one of the cofounders of Mother Jones, professor at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, and author of Half the Way Home and Bury the Chains, among other books.