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New Book Looks at Debate Over Jewish Achievement

“A unique and fascinating book!   At once erudite, encyclopedic, thought-provoking, and a pleasure to read, Steven Pease takes on what’s usually considered a sensitive topic with nuance, respect, and scholarly verve …deserves to be widely read and discussed.” – Amy Chua (author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother) and Jed Rubenfeld, Yale Law Professors and co-authors of The Triple Package: How Three […]

“A unique and fascinating book!   At once erudite, encyclopedic, thought-provoking, and a pleasure to read, Steven Pease takes on what’s usually considered a sensitive topic with nuance, respect, and scholarly verve …deserves to be widely read and discussed.” – Amy Chua (author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother) and Jed Rubenfeld, Yale Law Professors and co-authors of The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America

What author Steven Pease did with his 2009 book, The Golden Age of Jewish Achievementan exhaustive compendium of the disproportionate achievements of Jews has been more than matched by The Debate Over Jewish Achievement, a thoughtful, balanced and ultimately astounding exploration of the “why” behind the “what” of disproportionate Jewish achievements.

He traces more than 100 years of major theories put forth to explain the phenomenon, using the technique of a Chronology to expose the strengths and flaws of each theory over time. He puts nature (genetics) and nurture (Jewish culture) under an unrelenting microscope, drawing on recent research into the impacts of culture as well as the breakthroughs in genetics following completion of the Human Genome Project. Pease also explores how new ways of thinking, such as “epigenetics,” are moving beyond conventional genetics to present new insights into how nature and nurture interact to shape what we become.

In commenting on the book, Charles Murray, noted author of Coming Apart and Human Accomplishment said, “The Debate Over Jewish Achievement calls on cutting-edge findings in genetics, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, child development, and sociology. Steve Pease accomplishes the nearly miraculous: Giving readers access to the full range of arguments and data without forcing his preferred interpretation on anyone. If only all of the contentious scientific debates had a fair-minded resource like this one.” 

Review copies  are available, author available for interviews.

About the Author
A CEO specializing in turnarounds, a venture capitalist, and community activist, Steve Pease has traveled much of the world while heading up public and private companies as well as not-for-profit organizations. Born and raised Presbyterian in Spokane, Washington, he is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Washington with a master’s degree from Harvard Business School. He is co-chair of the U.S. Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law and active in community affairs in the small wine-country town of Sonoma, California, where he lives with his wife, Joyce.