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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference | [Malcolm Gladwell]

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Like the best social dynamics professor you never had, Malcolm Gladwell deconstructs a wide range of phenomena (from the reduction of crime in New York to the rise of Sesame Street) to deliver a fascinating understanding of how "social epidemics" spread. And while author/narrators are often a mixed blessing, Gladwell is so friendly and well-paced that I was actually disappointed when The Tipping Point was over. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

Featuring a new afterword.

Why did crime in New York drop in the mid-90s? Why is teenage smoking out of control? Why are television shows like Sesame Street good at teaching kids how to read?

In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

Gladwell uncovers the personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious.

The Tipping Point is an intellectual adventure story with an infectious enthusiasm for the power and joy of new ideas. Most of all, it is a road map to change, with a profoundly hopeful message: that one imaginative person applying a well-placed lever can move the world.

©2007 Malcolm Gladwell; (P)2007 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"Gladwell, a New Yorker staff writer, offers an incisive and piquant theory of social dynamics that is bound to provoke a paradigm shift in our understanding of mass behavioral change." (Booklist)
"Hip and hopeful, The Tipping Point is like the idea it describes: concise, elegant, but packed with social power. A book for anyone who cares about how society works and how we can make it better." (George Stephanopoulos)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Celeste San Luis Obispo, CA, United States 07-27-09
    Celeste San Luis Obispo, CA, United States 07-27-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't put down - thought provoking!"

    I was so fascinated with this book that I had to keep re-reading sections to re-absorb the information. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT!!!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Centerport, NY, USA 12-07-07
    Christopher Centerport, NY, USA 12-07-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just"

    I ordered this book on the recomendation of several colleagues and found it to be dissapointing. Many of the concepts are introduced but never brought full circle. While Galdwell often over describes the personality types in the book, he offers painfully little information on how to capture these individuals and profit from them.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas P. Hagstrom 12-02-07 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Difficult to Endure"

    The book was OK. It reads like "Freakonomics", which I loved. However, its case studies are far less compelling and too drawn out. To be honest, I only made it half way through the book before deciding to save my time for more compelling material.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamara Chesapeake, VA, United States 09-17-07
    Tamara Chesapeake, VA, United States 09-17-07 Member Since 2005
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    "Little things"

    Very interesting to see how little things tip the scale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gene Anne Bowman, ND, USA 08-16-07
    Gene Anne Bowman, ND, USA 08-16-07
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    "Fascinating..."

    A fascinating account of how the world works. It is a fantastic essay of how the smallest and seemingly insignificant events are catalyst for epidemics of all kinds. Fashion trends as epidemics may seem a strange concept but the author provides you with an "Ah-ha!" moment so often, you truly begin to realize how cause and effect really work on a world scale. The narration (by the author) is strong without being overly dramatic. A great listen...

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nikolas Braren Blanchet 08-11-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Fodder for Thought, but Lacking Cohesion"

    The narration is excellent and the audio quality is wonderful. The subject matter of the book is interesting, but it seems artificially pretty. It's overly simplistic, but doesn't make itself out to be. It was interesting, but not mind-blowing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    I Staats 05-04-07
    I Staats 05-04-07 Member Since 2005
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    "Brilliant"

    This book explains a lot. The narrator also keeps it interesting.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Smith Orlando, Florida United States 09-16-07
    Roger Smith Orlando, Florida United States 09-16-07 Member Since 2000

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What is tipping?"

    I really liked Blink. But this earlier book is confusing. It goes on and on about things that don't seem to have anything to do with tipping.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Patterson 08-22-07 Member Since 2003
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    "Tipped to the Negative"

    Although spiced with some tasty nuggets of ideas, the overall texture of Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point" is "half baked." He repeatedly over-generalizes and oversells his points, disregarding or discounting the impact of individual moral agency. For example, if Gladwell's theory regarding the "power of context" was as powerful as described, crime in New York in the late 90s would not have just dropped precipitously-- it would have stopped. He also stretches epidemiological principles to fit his hypotheses of social epidemics.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael garland, TX, USA 07-26-09
    Michael garland, TX, USA 07-26-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Good book"

    Very good book.. Thanks!

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
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