The Art of Learning: A Vibrant New Perspective on the Pursuit of Excellence

Josh Waitzkin, Author . Free Press $25 (265p) ISBN 978-0-7432-7745-7

Waitzkin's name may sound familiar—back in 1993, his father wrote about Josh's early years as a chess prodigy in Searching for Bobby Fischer. Now 31, Waitzkin revisits that story from his own perspective and reveals how the fame that followed the movie based on his father's book became one of several obstacles to his further development as a chess master. He turned to tai chi to learn how to relax and feel comfortable in his body, but then his instructor suggested a more competitive form of the discipline called "push hands." Once again, he proved a quick study, and has earned more than a dozen championships in tournament play. Using examples from both his chess and martial arts backgrounds, Waitzkin draws out a series of principles for improving performance in any field. Chapter headings like "Making Smaller Circles" have a kung fu flair, but the themes are elaborated in a practical manner that enhances their universality. Waitzkin's engaging voice and his openness about the limitations he recognized within himself make him a welcome teacher. The concept of incremental progress through diligent practice of the fundamentals isn't new, but Waitzkin certainly gives it a fresh spin. (May 8)

Reviewed on: 03/26/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 265 pages - 978-0-7432-7746-4
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4165-3886-8
Paperback - 296 pages - 978-986-213-134-3
Paperback - 316 pages - 978-84-7953-651-0
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