New Nonfiction: Focus – Daniel Goleman

Goleman is a psychologist and science journalist. His 1995 blockbuster, Emotional Intelligence became a global bestseller and one of the bestselling books of the decade. I’ll make a stronger claim for it and say that I think it’s one of the handful of nonfiction books that comes out from time to time that changes our entire cultural conversation.

Emotional Intelligence spun off many books by Goleman based on the same premise and principles. Focus involves major new research in a new area of inquiry—but like Emotional Intelligence I think it is publishing right into the cultural moment.

If the last decade was preoccupied with how networking would change the way we think, work, solve problems and relate to each other, I think there has recently been a backlash recently in the form of questions about how we can master the torrent of information that confronts us.

Goleman zeroes in on the idea of “focus” – what he calls “self-reflexive attention.” Based on the latest research in neuroscience, he shows that in the age of too-much-information, the ability to concentrate and to attend to what’s most important requires new skills and practices. Goleman unpacks a series of techniques drawn from fields as diverse as competitive sports, business, Zen Buddhism and music and shows how we can become better at monitoring and directing ourselves in a way that harnesses attention and can help to better enjoy our lives.

The publicity campaign kicks off with an hour on The Diane Rehm Show on 10/10/13.

Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence (9780062114860) by Daniel Goleman. $28.99 hardcover. 10/8/13 on sale.

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