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A revelatory synthesis of cultural history and social psychology that shows how one-to-one collaboration drives creative success   Weaving the lives of scores of creative duos—from John Lennon and Paul McCartney to Marie and Pierre Curie to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak—Joshua Wolf Shenk identifies the core qualities of that dizzying experience we call chemistry. Revealing the six essential stages through which creative intimacy unfolds, Shenk draws on new scientific research and builds an argument for the social foundations of creativity—and the pair as its primary embodiment. Along the way, he reveals how pairs begin to talk, think, and even look like each other how the most successful ones thrive on conflict and why some pairs flame out while others endure.

About the Author

Joshua Wolf Shenk

Joshua Wolf Shenk is an essayist and the director of the Rose O'Neill Literary House at Washington College. His work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Time, Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times, among others, and in the national bestseller Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression, edited by Nell Casey. He is the author of Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness, which was named one of the best books of 2005 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, and has won awards from The Abraham Lincoln Institute, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and the National Mental Health Association. Shenk is a 2005-06 fellow in non-fiction literature at the New York Foundation for the Arts. His other honors include the Rosalynn Carter fellowship in mental health journalism at the Carter Center, the Frank Whiting scholarship at the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, and the Blue Mountain Center. Shenk serves is a member of the advisory council to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and the Maryland Center for the Book. He serves on the general council for Stories at the Moth and as a contributing editor to The Washington Monthly. He is also a member of the advisory council to the Shul of New York.

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