“The Power of Two”: Atlantic Contributor Joshua Wolf Shenk on Creative Pairings, In Interview with NPR’s Alix Spiegel

“For centuries, the myth of the lone genius has towered over us, its shadow obscuring the way creative work really gets done. The attempts to pick apart the Lennon-McCartney partnership reveal just how misleading that myth can be, because John and Paul were obviously more creative as a pair than as individuals, even if at times they appeared to work in opposition to each other. The lone-genius myth prevents us from grappling with a series of paradoxes about creative pairs.”

Washington, D.C. (August 28, 2014)—In his cover story for The Atlantic’s annual Ideas issue, “The Power of Two,” Atlantic contributor Joshua Wolf Shenk argues that we’re misguided in our fetishization of the lone genius and that many remarkable achievements hinge on creative partnerships—as the case of The Beatles’ John Lennon and Paul McCartney makes clear. Tense and competitive? Fiery and sometimes dysfunctional? Sure. But it was this tension, this periodic unpleasantness, that produced some of the greatest music of all time.

Shenk will address his theory that creativity lies in the power of pairs during an interview with NPR Correspondent Alix Spiegel on September 8 at Sixth & I. In his new book, Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs, Shenk examines the hilarity of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the startup savvy of Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg, the financial skillfulness of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, and the civil rights fire of Ralph David Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr. The interview will explore such case studies and the characteristics that make these dynamic duos so much better together.

The event is the fifth in a series produced in partnership by The Atlantic and Sixth & I, which brings The Atlantic’s award-winning journalism to life through conversations with its leading editorial voices. This year, events have featured Liza Mundy on “The Daddy Track,” James and Deborah Fallows on their “American Futures” series, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman on their May cover story, “The Confidence Gap,” and Ta-Nehisi Coates on his blockbuster June cover story, “The Case for Reparations.”

Additional event details follow. For media tickets or further information, please contact the press leads below.

Joshua Wolf Shenk in Conversation with Alix Spiegel on “The Power of Two”

Monday, September 8, 2014
7:00 p.m., ET (Doors open at 6:00 p.m.)
Sixth & I
600 I Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

Purchase Details:
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$12 *Note: Ticket purchase includes a one-year subscription to The Atlantic when purchased by 2:00 pm day of event.*
Two Tickets, Book Purchase and One-Year Atlantic Subscription: $28
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