Exercise your imagination and set off sparks of genius. Explore the “thinking tools” of extraordinary people, from Albert Einstein and Jane Goodall to Amadeus Mozart and Virginia Woolf, and learn how you can practice the same imaginative skills to become your creative best. SPARKS OF GENIUS is a groundbreaking guidebook for anyone interested in imaginative thinking, lifelong learning, and transdisciplinary education.
Creativity isn’t born, it’s cultivated—this innovative guide distills the work of extraordinary artists and thinkers to show you how.
All the imagination needs to be fruitful is exercise. Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein identify the thinking tools employed by history’s greatest creative minds—from Albert Einstein and Jane Goodall to Amadeus Mozart and Virginia Woolf—so that anyone with the right mix of inspiration and drive can set their own genius in motion. With engaging narratives and ample illustrations, Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein investigate cognitive tools as diverse as observing, imaging, recognizing patterns, modeling, playing, and more to provide “a clever, detailed and demanding fitness program for the creative mind” (Kirkus Reviews, 1999).
A brilliant examination of “the whole point of gourmet thinking and education.”
“Since this book was published more than a decade ago, there has been significant research conducted on metacognition—especially creative thinking—that adds to the support of several of the Root-Bernsteins’ key points… Those who read this book with appropriate care will generously rewarded by the substance and quality of the content, brilliantly presented by the Root-Bernsteins in their lively and eloquent narrative. After reading and then re-reading Sparks of Genius, I have concluded that “the whole point of gourmet thinking and education” involves a never-ending process of exploration and discovery rather than any one head-snapping insight, a process best viewed as a journey. Think of Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein as your travel agents, then as your expert guides. Bon voyage! ~ Bob Morris, First Friday Book Synopsis @ http://ffbsccn.wordpress.com/
What would at first appear to be a collection of entertaining anecdotes about some weird-sounding, even stomach-churning old remedies is in fact much more: a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of medical traditions. The Root-Bernsteins–he’s a MacArthur fellow and physiologist (Michigan State University), she’s an award-winning writer of history- -have selected only those treatments that have been well validated by current medical practice. Their thesis is that thousands of years of experimentation have led to effective treatments in every folk culture around the world and that review of these practices can “prime the pump of medical innovation.” In addition to the honey, mud, and maggots of the title, they describe such other old-time cures as drinking urine, licking wounds, blood-letting, and bathing in mineral springs. While not advocating a return to the old ways, they show what scientific research has learned about the therapeutic properties of urine and saliva, how phlebotomy remains appropriate for certain disorders, and how deep-water immersion is used in physical medicine. Surprisingly, some once-popular therapies that one might assume had been long abandoned are still around. Leeches are used today to remove stagnant blood in tissue transplants, and maggot therapy (sometimes delicately referred to as “biosurgery”) is an effective means of cleaning up gangrenous wounds. The authors’ discussions of circumcision and contraception reveal much about the links between culture and biology. Issuing clear caveats against the uncritical adoption of folk or alternative medicine fads, they point out that while crackpots abound, panaceas do not exist. In keeping with their belief that medicine ought to support culturally diverse therapies, they offer some stimulating ideas on finding, evaluating, and marketing effective folk remedies. While enjoyable just for its wonderful stories, this charming and literate work casts new light on old wives’ tales. (Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.)
Boulevard Theater and Revolution in Eighteenth-Century Paris, UMI Research Press (Ann Arbor, MI: 1984).
Sierra Book Award for Best Book, Western Association of Women Historians, 1985.