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About the book
  • Published: 3 July 2017
  • ISBN: 9780099598473
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $24.99

Peak

Secrets from the New Science of Expertise




Reveals that all of us can excel at our chosen activities and offers a guide to unlocking our potential

‘Anyone who wants to get better at anything should read Peak. Rest assured that the book is not mere theory. Ericsson’s research focuses on the real world, and he explains in detail, with examples, how all of us can apply the principles of great performance in our work or in any other part of our lives.’ — Fortune
Do you want to stand out at work, improve your athletic or musical performance, or help your child achieve academic goals?

Anders Ericsson has made a career studying chess champions, violin virtuosos, star athletes, and memory mavens. Peak distills three decades of myth-shattering research into a powerful learning strategy that is fundamentally different from the way people traditionally think about acquiring new abilities. Ericsson’s revolutionary methods will show you how to improve at almost any skill that matters to you, and that you don't have to be a genius to achieve extraordinary things.

'Remarkable...who among us doesn't want to learn how to get better at life?' Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics

'This book...could truly change the world' Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein

  • Pub date: 3 July 2017
  • ISBN: 9780099598473
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Authors

Anders Ericsson

Professor Anders Ericsson is the world’s reigning expert on expertise. His research into what makes ordinary people achieve the extraordinary was the inspiration for the 10,000-hours rule – the popular theory that 10,000 hours of any type of practice will allow an individual to excel in any field. In this book, he describes how a particular type of extended practice leads to exceptional performance.

Anders Ericsson began his research into expertise when he conducted a memory trial on a young man. Despite having no previous aptitude for memory exercises, after several hundred sessions the young man was displaying memory powers over 10 times that of an average person. This was as a result of the system of training Ericsson had put him through – a process Ericsson has named ‘deliberate practice’.

Professor Ericsson has gone on to have his research widely cited in major newspapers and magazines worldwide, and he has worked with major international organisations, as well as Oxford, Stanford and Harvard medical schools, teachers and educational researchers, professional sports teams (Manchester City Football Club, Saracens Rugby Union Club, UK Sport, England and Wales Cricket Board), and military groups.

Robert Pool

Robert Pool is a science writer who has worked at some of the world’s most prestigious science publications, including Science and Nature, and his writing has appeared in many others. He is the author of three previous books.


Praise for Peak

“Most “important” books aren’t much fun to read. Most fun books aren’t very important. But with Peak, Anders Ericsson (with great work from Robert Pool) has hit the daily double. After all, who among us doesn’t want to learn how to get better at life? A remarkable distillation of a remarkable lifetime of work”

Stephen J. Dubner, bestselling author of FREAKONOMICS

“Offer[s] an optimistic anti-determinism that ought to influence how people educate children, manage employees and spend their time.”

The Economist

“This book is a breakthrough, a lyrical, powerful, science-based narrative that actually shows us how to get better (much better) at the things we care about.”

Seth Godin, author of LINCHPIN

“The science of excellence can be divided into two eras: before Ericsson and after Ericsson. His groundbreaking work, captured in this brilliantly useful book, provides us with a blueprint for achieving the most important and life-changing work a person can achieve: to become a little bit better each day.”

Daniel Coyle, bestselling author of THE TALENT CODE

“Ericsson's research has revolutionized how we think about human achievement. He has found that what separates the best of us from the rest is not innate talent but simply the right kind of training and practice. If everyone would take the lessons of this book to heart, it could truly change the world.”

Joshua Foer, bestselling author of MOONWALKING WITH EINSTEIN

“An invaluable exploration into the details of what makes the difference between simply going through the motions (for 10,000 hours!) and practising to reap significant improvement. A thought-provoking and extremely useful book.”

Harriet Beveridge, author of WILL IT MAKE THE BOAT GO FASTER?

“His ultimate message is an uplifting, optimistic one and should be applauded.”

Nick Rennison, Daily Mail

“Invaluable.”

David Didau, Learning Spy

“The work of the academic psychologist Anders Ericsson has inspired half a dozen popular accounts of the relationship between talent and effort. This year, with the science writer Robert Pool, he produced a book of his own, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise (Bodley Head), which may be the liveliest and clearest of the lot.”

Leo Robson, Books of the Year, New Statesman

“The clear style helps cast new light on a subject I thought I understood. I found his discussion of mental representations and the distinction between purposeful and deliberate practice especially illuminating”

Leaning Spy, Book of the Year


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