‘Sometimes, 1+1 = changing the world. Cathy Newman’s witty, warm history on the power of determined couples will make you look at your relationship and wonder, “Could we be doing more this weekend than just going to IKEA?”‘ CAITLIN MORAN
Throughout history, collaboration has fuelled greatness. From rivalsÂ pressuringÂ each otherÂ forwardsÂ to friends combining their talents, it’s clear: often two heads are better than one.
In It Takes Two, Cathy Newman rewrites the history books toÂ expose thisÂ strange power of two -Â the reason Holmes and Watson need to come as a pair, andÂ AppleÂ could not have been started byÂ Steve JobsÂ alone. Bringing together an extraordinary range of stories from around the world, Newman shows how double acts have relied on each other, how minds have married toÂ usher in miraculous discoveries,Â and how thoseÂ we think of as lone geniusesÂ often did not work solo.
How did William and Ellen CraftÂ work together to pull off aÂ perilousÂ cross-countryÂ escapeÂ fromÂ slavery? How did the queerÂ artistsÂ Marcel MooreÂ andÂ ClaudeÂ Cahun becomeÂ icons of the surrealist movement, then heroines of the resistance during WW2? HowÂ doÂ today’s most powerful couples – fromÂ BeyoncÃ©Â and Jay-Z toÂ Bill and Melinda GatesÂ – negotiate coupledom and individual achievement in the spotlight?
Vibrant, feministÂ andÂ unexpected, this brilliant history shows the value of friction, obsession, differenceÂ and trust when it comes to progressÂ – and retrieves the work ofÂ manyÂ who have been forgotten, asking why certain collaborators are so often left out of theÂ narrative.