January 25, 2012—Award-winning journalists and New York Times bestselling authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s groundbreaking new book on the psychology and biology of the competitive spirit will be published by Twelve, it was announced today by Cary Goldstein, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Twelve/Hachette Book Group.
Based on the cutting edge research and fascinating case studies that define their work together, Bronson and Merryman tackle a subject we all face every day—in the office, in school, on the playing field, at home. By looking at competition through a multidisciplinary lens that integrates wisdom from politics, finance, genetics, neuroscience, human development, military psychology, sports, economics, and educational data, the authors reveal the hidden factors that fuel our determination, passion, and drive to compete and explore how we can harness the forces of competition to succeed.
Bronson says, “We wanted to know why people with competitive fire don’t get defeated when they fall behind, and how it is they manage to surge back to victory. We wanted to know why some people can practice forever, but still wilt under the pressure of actually performing. We wanted to know what structural factors of any competition bring out people’s best or worst. We wanted to know what really happens to people in those moments when it most counts, whether it’s on deadline at work or during big sports contests or at the close of trading or when taking a test that will decide their future. We wanted to know how underdogs beat the odds. We wanted to learn how to make fire. And we did.”
Merryman adds, “What most of us know—or think we know—about rivalry and success is woefully incorrect. With the research we have uncovered and the stories we tell, you will never watch a football game, vote in an election, take a test, or make a presentation to your boss the same way again.”
Goldstein says, “Competition is the perfect subject for Po and Ashley. They have a gift for synthesis, for making complicated and even seemingly conflicting data not only digestible, but revelatory. Their brilliant new work will rescue the word ‘competitive’ from its negative connotations and restore its Homeric nobility.”
Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s NurtureShock: New Thinking about Children was a major New York Times bestseller that landed on over 35 “Year’s Best” lists and is currently being translated into 16 languages around the world. Bronson and Merryman have won nine national awards for their reporting on the science of human development, including the PEN USA Award for Literary Journalism and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Award for Outstanding Journalism. Their work has been cited as scientific authority in nearly 30 peer-reviewed journals. Prior to collaborating, Bronson authored five books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller What Should I Do With My Life? Merryman’s journalism has appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek, and numerous other venues. Bronson lives in San Francisco, with his wife and two children. Merryman lives in Los Angeles.