John Lennon in ‘Powers of Two’


Shenk’s book aims to make analytic sense of creative partnerships John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Marie and Pierre Curie, George Balanchine and Suzanne Farrell while refusing to reduce them.

The partnership that begins and ends the book and resurfaces throughout is Lennon and McCartney’s: Shenk shows how the relationship’s stages are replicated, at some level, in other duos, whether Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak or Matt Stone and Trey Parker: Dyads tend to move through what Shenk calls “Meeting,” “Confluence,” “Dialectics,” “Distance,” “The Infinite Game” and “Interruption”; the book’s sections are built on this structure


Joshua Shenk’s “Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs” (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28)


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