You Can Do Anything - The Surprising Power of a Useless Liberal Arts Education

Author(s): George Anders

Lifestyle | Staff Picks | Social Sciences

There are no underground bunkers of supercomputers at the heart of the Uber miracle. No cloisters of silent technicians guiding Etsy to its marketplace dominance. Google HQ looks more like a Scandinavian parliament than a server farm. The truth is, the tech boom has less to do with a massive explosion of silicon and aluminum, and much more to do with a massive expansion of the points of contact between humans and machines.

George Anders's YOU CAN DO ANYTHING is shaped by the insight that the leading lights at so many ostensibly "tech" firms have deep backgrounds in the humanities--history, sociology, and, yes, English. Something about those backgrounds unlocked potential that hordes of anonymous MBAs and BSs can only wish for.

Combining reportage, academic studies, close contact with tech and business luminaries, fast action-oriented distillations, and many years of experience reading the invisible magnetic waves of the business and creator worlds, Anders is writing the book that will upset (cf: "disrupt") the conversation between the STEM and the innumerate, between Mountain View and Main Street, and between parents and children. We all have the power to think on our feet, to rally others, and to embrace the exception. We just need to realize the power. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING points us in that direction and shoves.

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This is a fascinating book that shatters the many misconceptions and unfortunate stereotypes associated with a liberal arts degree. If you ever have doubts about your chosen path, this book will let you think about that twice. 

Alicia, The Book Grocer


“An argument for the usefulness of a major in liberal arts.Forbes contributor Anders (The Rare Find: How Great Talent Stands Out, 2011, etc.) offers encouraging advice for students worried about choosing a college, a major, or finding a job after graduation. In a “rapidly evolving high-tech future,” he writes, there will be “thousands of openings a week” for graduates who majored in subjects such as philosophy, anthropology, or English. These humanities and social science majors are the people businesses want to hire, Anders maintains, for their intellectual curiosity, creativity, empathy, critical thinking skills, and ability to write. These are the qualities, argues the author persuasively, that are hallmarks of the liberal arts. Like most self-help books, this one is rolled out in short, pithy chapters filled with jaunty anecdotes about successful job hunters who managed to apply their education to a “new category of jobs” that require new abilities: “to read the room—and to get different people on the same page”; to handle ambiguity and use ingenuity to solve problems; and to “inform, entertain or inspire.” Anders ends with a step-by-step protocol for getting jobs that can lead to a satisfying career. Useful guidance for newly minted job hunters.”

– Kirkus Review

General Fields

  • : 9780316548885
  • : Little Brown & Company
  • : Back Bay Books
  • : January 2019
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : George Anders
  • : Paperback
  • : 352