Top Dog:

The Science of Winning and Losing

A Barnes & Noble Best Book of February2013

It’s a dog-eat-dog world. Don’t be on the menu.

What are the differences between a winning and losing performance? Why are we able to rise to the challenge one day, but wilt from it the next? Can we in fact become better competitors? In Top Dog, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman use cutting-edge science to tease out the hidden factors at the core of every great triumph—and every tragic failure. By enabling you to identify your own competitive style, Top Dog will help you tip the odds of success in your favor.

Integrating wisdom from politics, finance, genetics, neuroscience, psychology, military training, sports, economics, education, and more, Top Dog offers counterintuitive, game-changing insights into the nature of competition, such as: 

– Why the home field advantage in sports is just as relevant in diplomacy and deal-making
– That women are better at judging risk, while men are better at ignoring it—and how this plays out on K Street and Wall Street
– Why younger siblings are more competitive than first-borns, and how early-childhood influences shape competitive styles forever
– That the shape of entrepreneurs’ hands can be just as revealing as their business plans 
– How a single biochemical can predict a winner before an event has even begun  
– Why discord can be better than harmony, and why stars on a team do deserve special treatment.  

As President Dwight Eisenhower said, “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight—it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” In Top Dog, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman reveal the size of the fight in all of us.

Editorial Reviews

“Accessible for fans of pop science, yet substantial enough to have practical applications, Bronson and Merryman’s investigation will have folks rethinking the impulse to win at work and play.”

Publishers Weekly

“Illuminating and entertaining, with some surprising insights from current research in neuroscience and endocrinology.” 

Kirkus Reviews

Author Biography

Po Bronson is the author of five books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller What Should I Do With My Life? His New York magazine articles with Ashley Merryman on the science of parenting have won the Magazine Journalism Award and a Clarion Award. Their articles for Time magazine have won the award for outstanding journalism from the Council on Contemporary Families. Bronson lives in San Francisco, with his wife and two children.

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Reader Biography

Po Bronson is the author of five books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller What Should I Do With My Life? His New York magazine articles with Ashley Merryman on the science of parenting have won the Magazine Journalism Award and a Clarion Award. Their articles for Time magazine have won the award for outstanding journalism from the Council on Contemporary Families. Bronson lives in San Francisco, with his wife and two children.

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