Viking has signed a "fascinating" book from Chicago professor Howard Nusbaum, looking at what wisdom is and how we can be wiser.
Editor Connor Brown acquired world rights to Wisdom: The New Science of Better Decisions and a Fulfilled Life from Esmond Harmsworth at Aevitas Creative Management. The book will publish in spring 2023.
It looks at what wisdom is and how individuals and institutions can become wiser. The publisher said: "Wisdom has moral grounding, takes the long view and balances different perspectives – it has profound benefits for societies and individuals. While many think it is necessary to be gray and bearded or to have lived a difficult life to make wise decisions, in this sage and thought-provoking book, world-leading wisdom expert Professor Howard Nusbaum draws on the latest research in psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and economics to show that counter to what many believe, wisdom is a skill that can be learned more easily than thought.
"Drawing on fascinating examples (on why even atheists are often against the idea of selling their souls, for example) and revealing useful tips (e.g. how thinking about a problem in the third person leads to wiser decisions), Wisdom changes the way we think about decision making, giving success a more prosocial definition, and showing why we could all do with being a little wiser. Our futures may depend on it."
Nusbaum is the Stella M Rowley professor of psychology at the University of Chicago and director of the Chicago Center for Practical Wisdom, which supports scientific research on wisdom and works closely with those working in medicine, business, engineering and the law. He has published more than100 peer-reviewed journal articles, has served as editor of various prestigious journals, has edited five academic books on topics ranging from perception to wise reasoning, and his research has featured in the New York Times, Telegraph and New Yorker, among others. This is his first book for a general reader.
Brown said: “There’s no go-to book on wisdom and Professor Howard Nusbaum is the expert on it. He’s particularly fascinating on how wisdom isn’t innate – it’s a skill you can work on and improve – and I think the world could do with a bit more wisdom at the moment. We’re delighted to be publishing Howard at Viking.”