I was so excited for this book when I saw it was coming out months ago. Downloaded it the day it was available. "Outliers" and "Blink" are great, paradigm-shifting books. "The Tipping Point" is good, and "What the Dog Saw" is in my opinion his worst book. This one falls somewhere between "What the Dog Saw" and "The Tipping Point", in my opinion. It's got a couple of mildly enlightening sections, but all in all is very repetitive and starts to get a bit dull.
Essentially, in "David and Goliath", Malcolm Gladwell makes one point, over and over and over. The properties that make the giant seem powerful might actually be its weaknesses, and the things that made David seem like a fool and his actions suicidal to others might have been his greatest strengths. He makes this point well in the first chapter, then goes on and on, making the same point over and over. Some of the stories he tells are interesting, others are kind of boring and in some cases it really seems like he's stretching to make them apply to his topic at all.
Letting the rest of the world go by
A good book splendidly read by the author. The theme is catching. Most chapters start off with a misdirection, and I'm thinking the author's thesis is wrong. For example, small class sizes do make a difference, I think. The author presents data that seems to contradict that assertion, but really doesn't. The author at the last moment will say maybe not and will show you why it's probably not true. He does that multiple times. Most of his original assertions I didn't like but by the end I did.
Another thing, he writes the stories such that I wished I was born poor, or at least had dyslexia because he makes those seem so desirable. That of corse is silly.
Look, the book is an easy listen and is fun but is not as good as his other books. I don't really recommend this one, but I was disappointed.
I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.
Entertainment Weekly (EW)gave Malcolm Gladwell's "David and Goliath" (DG) an abominable review. EW reported that Gladwell had dissolved from a data based story teller to a manipulator of anecdotal tales used to support his main thesis. As a result, I was disinclined to purchase DG. However, I was very pleased by his "Outliers" and "Tipping Point" so I took the chance.
Thank goodness I did not allow those muttonheads at EW to influence my book buying behavior. DG is an excellent book that challenges some of the most commonly held assumptions in the US and turns them upside down. Gladwell uses data and personal stories to analyze the social significance of affirmative action, three strikes laws, and entering an ivy league college. Gladwell's gift is summarizing research studies into a common sense digestible units that any reader can readily absorb. He further drives home point by selecting compelling real life stories that best exemplify these research studies. Gladwell keeps his readers entertained by avoiding the technical jargon associated with peer reviewed data.
The point of DG is that we all possess personal strengths that can help us achieve goals in the face of impending failure. David does not defeat Goliath due to luck, instead David fought an unconventional battle by changing the rules to his benefit. DG will expose the reader a different perspective on approaching tasks or problems that seem beyond our skill set. Our perceived weaknesses can be our greatest strengths.
I did not read the print version.
Loved this book. It really puts some things into perspective. Things you believe are advantages may not be and things you believe are disadvantages may not be.
As an entrepreneur, I was drawn to this book professionally and personally. Each chapter provided new insight as to the value of taking new perspective. Cheers to those willing to step out of line, stand up to the bullies and overcome societal 'defects' and overcome them with success. Gladwell does it again!
A digital media consultant and business strategist. I'm a lifelong lover of books in all forms.
Yes. The examples, case studies and concepts are powerful reminders of how shifting our perspective (or paradigm) can make us see the forces affecting an outcome in an entirely different way. Life is about perspective and what we see depends on where we are standing.
Malcolm Gladwell does a wonderful job narrating his own books. He brought to life the words of the people whose stories he told.
He brought a very important subtext to the bombing of London during World War II that I had not previously heard.
Life through the lens of disadvantage as a strength.
A very important book in seeing beyond the obvious to the unseen and unconsidered factors that shape people and outcomes.
I love Malcolm's books and this one is just as good as the rest. I always learn a lot from reading his books. Make's you think
Real Estate Junkie
I have always been an advid reader of Gladwell and believe that his other works are required reading for any business person. While the premise is good, the book is way too long and digresses from the subject matter so often that I found myself fast forwarding through parts that just made no sense to me. And it pains me to admit that I was disappointed.
Yes and will!
So hard to pick... The real story of David & Goliath and the successes of dyslectics was fascinating.
How to succeed when all odds are against you
LOVE this book. I've read every book by Gladwell and had the privilege of seeing him speak once. I hope he continues to write... and write... and write. His mind is truly amazing! AND he is an excellent narrator.
Having it read by the author ensures that the essential points are driven home just as was intended.
Great stories, lots to learn, excellent listen.