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2021-22 Common Read: ‘Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’

The University of Idaho has chosen “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth as its Common Read for 2021-22.

“The Common Read Committee, composed of students, faculty and community members, believed this selection was a perfect choice to usher in a new era of focus and perseverance in the post-pandemic world,” said Dean Panttaja, U of I’s director of General Education. calls the book “a must-read book for anyone striving to succeed.” Duckworth, a pioneering psychologist, shows parents, educators, students and business people (both seasoned and new) that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called grit.

Now in its 14th year, the Common Read is designed to engage the university and Moscow community in a unified intellectual activity, Panttaja said. Students will be assigned to read the book as part of their first-year studies courses and in the first-year writing composition sequence, all part of the General Education program.

The Common Read is partially supported by the Judith Runstad Lecture Series, which annually helps sponsor a keynote address by the book’s author or someone closely associated with the book. 

Other recent Common Reads and Runstad lecturers have included: Tara Westover, author of “Educated: A Memoir” in 2018;  Tommy Orange, author of “There, There” in 2019; and Cristina Henriquez, author of “The Book of Unknown Americans” in 2020.

Copies of “Grit” will be available through the VandalStore and BookPeople of Moscow.

Author's Biography

Angela Duckworth is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania. An expert in non-I.Q. competencies, she has advised the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams and Fortune 500 CEOs. Prior to her career in research, she taught children math and science and was the founder of a summer school for low-income children that won the Better Government Award from the state of Massachusetts. She completed her bachelor’s degree in neurobiology at Harvard, her master’s in neuroscience at Oxford and her doctorate in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Grit Cover
Cover of “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance”
Angela Duckworth
Angela Duckworth (photo courtesy of


The Common Read is a program designed to engage the university and Moscow community, its students, staff, faculty and community members, in a unified intellectual activity. For first-year students it introduces them to academic expectations, respectful discourse, and community building. The Common Read is supported by the Judith M. Runstad Lecture Series, which sponsors a keynote address by the author of the Common Read, or someone closely associated with the book. The Common Read book is available through the U of I VandalStore.

This is a program sponsored through the General Education program, supported by the Office of Student Affairs, and a host of faculty, staff and student members on the Common Read Committee.

General Education

Physical Address:
Administration Building 104

Mailing Address:
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3154
Moscow, ID 83844-3154

Phone: 208-885-9025


Web: General Education