"Outliers" may not persuade you, but it will make you rethink the meaning of the words like "intelligence" and "talent." It will also make you question how much of "success" really comes from culture, cohort, and circumstance.
I couldn't stop listening. It kept me up late several nights in a row. This is probably Gladwell's best to date.
This is a very well written book that outlines how it's not just the individual who creates his/her own success, but how success is dependent on a number of factors that are completely outside of his/her control. He emphasizes the need for hard work - 10,000 hours - a message I believe we don't spend enough time advocating to our children today and he raises what I would consider some valid concerns about our public school system that seems to validate what is also advocated by Thomas Friedman in The World is Flat. What we need now is a book that provides some concrete recommendations that can balance the need to better educate ALL children while still allowing them to have "free time" to think, as is urged by professionals like Ned Hallowell, to avoid being "Crazy Busy". The narrator/author has a voice you want to listen to and his personal story at the end should make him more real to you.
Whether you can put what M.G. says into practice for your own gain or not, this book really makes you think differently. Its tough to argue with the inferences made from the facts he lays out.
The writing is colourful, skillful and nicely paced. It's a joy to listen to, particularly on those long country drives.
The absolute worst case scenario is that you will have something very interesting to talk about at your next cocktail party.
If reading for you is to explore different ways of thinking about a subject, then this is for you. I found the book clear and succint with accessible common examples to cement the ideas.
The premise of the book is basically that no-one is self made and the community the person exists in and the opportunities afforded them make much of the difference. This is at odds with the current fashion in the West where the success or failure is posited with the individual. Those who believe in the primacy of the individual probably will not enjoy this book.
As a Gladwell fan I took away a lot of interesting perspectives about success. The context of a person's life versus the content of his genetics...seems to be his central theme. His examples demonstrated the myriad failures of arbitrary distinctions. But his central hypothesis was not satisfactorily proved, at least from my perspective.
I usually listen to fiction, but the summary caught my attention and I was intrigued. I am so glad! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and was as enthralled as if listening to a thriller. It flows well, and I really like the anecdotal supporting stories.
The invocation of Hofstede's theory of social power distribution (PDI) was quite refreshing, and how one's socio-cultural background has so much influence on his/her success on the world stage. Gladwell writes so clear and concise that taking a break from the book was nearly impossible!
Gladwell uses compelling stories to make a convincing case. On top of it being a well-written, well researched book, he narrates his work effectively and beautifully.
My only knock is that he occasionally finds things "hilarious" that are barely even funny, but overall this book is serious, compassionate, brilliant, and endlessly interesting. Get this book and you will know what goes into the making of an outlier. Very highly recommended.