Paul Tough


Bestselling Author


Yong Zhao

Paul Tough, bestselling author of How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character, ushered in a tidal change in thinking with his argument that curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, self-control and grit are better indicators of success than IQ. In his latest book,  Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why,  he offers a practical guidebook for educators, parents and community groups dedicated to improving the lives of children growing up in adversity -- with all-new strategies based in the emerging science of success.

Mr. Tough identifies a phenomenon in our culture that he calls the “adversity gap”: Some kids, especially those growing up in poverty, simply have too much adversity in their lives, and others, especially those growing up in affluence, actually experience too little. Tough says that children develop character strengths when they persevere through adversity. And it’s our job – the adults in their schools and their communities and their homes – to provide the support and guidance they need to manage and grow from those setbacks and disappointments.

Mr. Tough is also the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, the NYT Bestseller which chronicled the inspiring story of the Harlem Children’s Zone. He is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, where he has written cover articles about first-generation college students, character education and OxyContin addiction in Appalachia, among other topics. He has also contributed stories to This American Life, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Esquire and GQ.