. . . just like everyone else who ever lived on the planet, from Alexander the Great to Abraham Lincoln. Failure is what makes success possible. It’s how we learn what doesn’t work–and therefore how we learn what does.
That’s the message of The Up Side of Down, my new book from Viking. Drawing on interviews, academic research, and my own experience with catastrophic life events, I explore why failure is an inevitable–and even beneficial–part of life. And how to make failure a learning experience instead of a catastrophe.
“An illuminating look at the psychology behind rebounding from defeat. . . . McArdle has found a humble, intelligent way of infusing positivity and opportunity into personal losses. . . . Her message is a significant one with both personal and economic impact: There can be no vast success without initial failures, and it’s important to foster a culture of risk-takers who embrace experimentation in working outside of their comfort zones. . . . Sage counsel on how to learn from failure with humor and grace.”
“The Up Side of Down reveals a forgotten secret to success: failure. This gracefully written, carefully researched book offers a timely and critical message. In a world that’s obsessed with perfection, Megan McArdle shows that our accomplishments depend on whether we can make mistakes and learn from them.”
—Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of Give and Take
“This is a vibrant book on a vital subject. It’s full of unexpected insights and is a pleasure to read.”
—Tim Harford, author of Adapt and The Undercover Economist and the “Dear Economist” column at the Financial Times
“Megan McArdle has written the seminal book about renewal and American greatness: The Up Side of Down will teach you to embrace failure and use it to reinvent yourself and your organization.”
—Tyler Cowen, author of Discover Your Inner Economist and The Great Stagnation, co-creator of the economics blog Marginal Revolution
“This is both a surprising and an immensely comforting book. Drawing on academic research, reporting, and not least the failures in her own life, Megan McArdle convincingly demonstrates that avoiding failure isn’t what matters, but how we cope with failure. Sparkling with wit and insight in every chapter, The Up Side of Down has something for anyone who has ever failed, or lived in fear of failure—in other words, all of us.”
—Greg Ip, author of The Little Book of Economics
“It’s time for defeat, not just victory, to have a thousand fathers. In this wise, thought-provoking, and personal book, Megan McArdle makes the powerful case that we have as much or more to learn from our failures as we do from successes. With relevant case studies from Detroit to Hollywood, she seamlessly weaves together strategic and tactical insights into how to make big decisions right—and learn from the many bad decisions we inevitably make along the way. Essential reading for executives, entrepreneurs, and students of life.”
—Parag Khanna, author of How to Run the World and Director of the Hybrid Reality Institute
You can buy The Up Side of Down at the following fine outlets: