Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing
Sneak Peak:
Read Inside and Buy

A terrifically useful book about the
science of competition (which you
should read right now).”

—Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code

“Amazing … mind boggling … Every
page, you go, “Oh, whoa.’ Really wonderful … just fascinating reading.”
– Leo Laporte, TWIiT.TV


“Cutting-edge science behind life’s triumphs and failures... insight from politics, finance, science, sports and economics

to tip the odds in your favor.”



“Remarkable... this book will help you rise to the occasion... wildly counterintuitive.”

San Francisco Chronicle (Literary Pick)


“Fiction may lay claim to imagination, but works such as TOP DOG are what push the envelope of our reality... stunning... Prepare to delve into the external factors and personal dynamos that make you who you are.”

Coffin Factory

On your mark, get set—the New York Times bestselling authors of NurtureShock return with a groundbreaking new book on the science of competition.

In TOP DOG, Bronson and Merryman use their astonishing blend of science and storytelling to reveal what's truly in the heart of a champion. The joy of victory and the character-building agony of defeat. Testosterone and the neuroscience of mistakes. Why rivals motivate. How home field advantage gets you a raise. What teamwork really requires. It's baseball, the SAT, sales contests, and Linux. How before DaVinci and FedEx were innovators, first they were great competitors.

Olympians carry TOP DOG in their gym bags. It's in briefcases of Wall Street traders and Madison Avenue madmen. Risk takers from Silicon Valley to Vegas race to implement its ideas, as educators debate it in halls of academia. Now see for yourself what this game changing talk is all about.

“I tell my staff, I tell my friends—you must read TOP DOG. I was a good poker player before I read it. Now, I’m even better.”

—Phil Gordon, World Poker Tour Champion, author, and CEO of Jawfish Games


TOP DOG should be mandatory reading for every serious athlete, coach, and managers—both on and off the field. Amazing science, terrific storytelling, and insight to burn.”

—Pat Williams, cofounder/SVP, Orlando Magic and Basketball
Hall of Famer


“Such a provocative text... If you read NurtureShock, you already know about the power of their prose... game- changing steps to assure success in winner-take-all showdowns, for everyone from adults in offices to students in classrooms.”

—Tavis Smiley,
The Tavis Smiley Show


“An easy, highly satisfying read… surprising… fascinating. Grade: A.”

About the Authors

Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s work changes the national dialogue. Beyond their bestselling books, you know them from commentary and features in the New York Times, CNN, NPR, Time, Newsweek, Wired, New York, and more. E-mail, Facebook, and Twitter accounts are filled with demands to read their reporting (such as “How Not to Talk to Your Kids,” “Creativity Crisis,” and “Losing Is Good for You”).

One of the most influential books about children ever published, NurtureShock was on the New York Times bestseller for six months. Landing on more than 35 “Year’s Best” lists, NurtureShock has been translated into 16 languages, while the authors have won nine national awards for their reporting, including the PEN USA Literary Award for Journalism and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for Science Journalism.

Prior to his collaboration with Merryman, Bronson authored five books, including What Should I Do With My Life?, a #1 New York Times bestseller (with more than 10 months on the list), and The Nudist on the Late Shift, also a national bestseller. Merryman’s journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, and many other venues.

About the Publisher

Twelve LogoTwelve Books, a division of the Hachette Book Group, was established in 2005 with the mission to publish 12 books a year that enliven the national conversation, with each book getting the full attention of its publisher, from acquisition through publication. Sean Desmond is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. Brian McLendon is Associate Publisher.