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What made the Sopranos finale one of the most-talked-about events in television history?

Why is sudoku so addictive and the iPhone so darn irresistible?

What do Jackson Pollock and Lance Armstrong have in common with theoretical physicists and Buddhist monks?


In this thought-provoking exploration of why certain events, products, and people capture our attention and imaginations, Matthew E. May examines the elusive element behind so many innovative breakthroughs in fields ranging from physics and marketing to design and popular culture. Combining unusual simplicity and surprising power, elegance is characterized by four key elements—seduction, subtraction, symmetry, and sustainability. In a compelling, story-driven narrative that sheds light on the need for elegance in design, engineering, art, urban planning, sports, and work, May offers surprising evidence that what’s “not there” often trumps what is.

In the bestselling tradition of The Tipping Point, Made to Stick, and The Black Swan, In Pursuit of Elegance will change the way you think about the world.

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