(K. Brent Tomer),
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. By Angela Duckworth. Scribner; 352 pages; $28. Vermilion; £20.
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, a German philosopher, once stated that there was a universal tendency to see success as the result of innate talent, rather than effort. Today it is still common to think of the straight-A pupil as having a “gift” for learning, or of the sports star as miraculously skilful. Angela Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, believes that talent is overrated. More important, she suggests, is a blend of persistence and passion—or “grit”. “Our potential is one thing,” she writes. “What we do with it is quite another.”
That character matters is not a new idea. But “Grit”, Ms Duckworth’s first book, is part of a broader trend which is influencing organisations from sports teams to schools. Over the past two decades more and more scholars have analysed traits like curiosity and self-control. Such faculties are at least as important as raw cognitive ability to grades and…Continue reading