A Synthesizing Mind: A Memoir from the Creator of Multiple Intelligence's Theory

Written by:
Howard Gardner
Narrated by:
Graham Winton

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
September 2020
7 hours 28 minutes
Howard Gardner’s Frames of Mind was that rare publishing phenomenon—a mind-changer. Widely read by the
general public as well as by educators, this influential book laid out Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. It
debunked the primacy of the IQ test and inspired new approaches to education; entire curricula, schools, museums,
and parents’ guides were dedicated to the nurturing of the several intelligences. In his new book, A Synthesizing Mind,
Gardner reflects on his intellectual development and his groundbreaking work, tracing his evolution from bookish
child to eager college student to disengaged graduate student to Harvard professor.

Gardner discusses his mentors (including Erik Erikson and Jerome Bruner) and his collaborators (Mihaly
Csikszentmihalyi, William Damon, and others). Comedian Groucho Marx makes a surprise (non-)appearance,
declining Gardner’s invitation to chat with Harvard College students, in favor of “making a living.”

Throughout his career, Gardner has focused on human minds in general, or on the minds of particular creators
and leaders. Reflecting now on his own mind, he concludes that his is a “synthesizing mind”—with the ability to
survey experiences and data across a wide range of disciplines and perspectives. The thinkers he most admires—
including historian Richard Hofstadter, biologist Charles Darwin, and literary critic Edmund Wilson—are exemplary
synthesizers. Gardner contends that the synthesizing mind is particularly valuable at this time and proposes ways to
cultivate a possibly unique human capacity
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