Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Str

Howard E. Gardner, Author Basic Books $30 (480p) ISBN 978-0-465-01455-2
In this boldly ambitious study, Gardner ( Frames of Mind ) profiles seven creative giants. Creativity, he argues, is not an all-purpose trait but instead involves distinct intelligences, as exemplified by Picasso's visual-spatial skills or by Gandhi's nonviolent approach to human conflict or Martha Graham's search for a distinctly American form of bodily expression. Each of the seven creative geniuses whom Gardner incisively limns transcended interpretive frames or conventions that became entrenched during the 19th century; each forged a new ``system of meaning''; and each, in Gardner's view, struck a ``Faustian bargain,'' sacrificing a rounded personal life for the sake of an all-consuming mission. Gardner also finds a childlike component in each of their creative breakthroughs (e.g., Einstein's ``thought experiment'' of riding a light-beam). This highly stimulating synthesis illuminates the creation of the modern age. Photos. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/28/1993
Release date: 07/01/1993
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