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.
Say Less, Mean More?
I have enjoyed every book Mr. Gladwell has written. Mr. Gladwell has a terrific (soft) voice for the narration, and it is great to hear the author's intonation.
Becoming immersed into the story as Mr. Gladwell describes David's encounter with Goliath.
I have read or listened to every book Mr. Gladwell has published (I think) and he really has a unique perspective that he only espouses after meticulous research.
I just kept replaying the author's description of David as he walked toward Goliath.
Great perspective, and so well written that it lends itself to a very large audience.
Underdogs can win, we can will against the larger competition.
It's a bummer to read "Am I a dog, "he roared at David, "that you come at me with a stick", Malcolm quotes it as sticks and said Goliath had a vision problem which is why he saw David's shepard staff as sticks, but the "Chronological Life Application Study Bible" has it as stick, singular - this worries me, since I base my belief in Malcolm's fabulous writing is based on meticulous research, why would he misquote something everyone can look up, the King James has it as staves so maybe this is what Malcolm relied on, "And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods."
We need more Malcolm Gladwells to challenge our cultures assumptions - love his Outliers book - just wonderful, this one is just as good :-)
A good paradigm shifting look at advantage and conventional thinking. Too often we are stuck in a narrow view of our world. We quit without using our talents because we don't see them. This book helps you to open your mind.
A great topic and great discussion. With a portion of the story dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I am glad to have read this over the MLK weekend. It also has a great section on dyslexia and I have family members that have struggled with this disorder and I recommended that they read the book as a testament to understanding their struggle.
Some may think that David's victory over Goliath was in the stones. That is incorrect.
As much as anything else it was in how he perceived the giant.
We all face giants... HOW we see them determines ahether or not we overcome them.