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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

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Kirill 03-02-14
    Kirill 03-02-14 Member Since 2014
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    "finding a black cat in a dark room"
    Would you try another book from Malcolm Gladwell and/or Malcolm Gladwell?

    Basically, the author presents his theory and goes on to build it on or elaborate. He creates necessary conditions, classification of individuals needed to perform the act of tipping, etc. At the same time, I cannot help but wonder if his examples and analysis is really spurious. The author fails to convince me that the instances of "tipping" happened due to his theory, and not because of some other reason.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LA Reader Winston Salem NC 02-13-14
    LA Reader Winston Salem NC 02-13-14 Member Since 2012

    onlinela

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    "Malcolm Gladwell is a wonderful narrator"

    Another fun and paradigm-shifting book from Malcolm Gladwell. I like that he points out how small groups can influence thousands. I recommend all his books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 02-11-14
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 02-11-14 Member Since 2014

    I have a rather eclectic love of books. I know what I like and I tend not to be a severe critic. If I enjoyed it, it gets 4 or 5 stars.

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    "Great book!"

    I love Malcolm Gladwell's books and this one is no different! It is full of really interesting topics that make you think. I enjoy the way he thinks about things.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Adult Customer New York, NY 01-13-14
    Adult Customer New York, NY 01-13-14
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    "Great non-fiction book"
    Where does The Tipping Point rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best 3


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Gladwell uses interesting examples and references from the literature to make his points.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No- I needed to stop and think about some of his points. I found myself wanting to discuss the book with others.


    Any additional comments?

    Gladwell is a very good reader. It plays like he is sitting with you at a coffee shop explaining his research one-to-one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy A. Morgan 01-01-14 Member Since 2015

    Listening is my reading. Being a musician as a profession, aural learning is best suited for me, so I'm thankful for this company.

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    "Incredible inspiration on networking"
    Would you listen to The Tipping Point again? Why?

    Yes definitely. There is a lot of information on learning your sphere of influence as well as those that surround you. So many interesting features about this book make me want to continually meet people, not just because of their network possibilities, but the possibility that I may be able to help others by discovering my social gifts.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Tipping Point?

    All the research done by the "Sesame Street" and "Blues Clues" producers was jaw-dropping. As much information the teams gathered and used to help propel children education was unbelievable, and as a teacher, it makes sense to see the different conclusions lived out in my students.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alisyn 12-07-13
    Alisyn 12-07-13
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    "So-so, good for conversation pieces"
    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The author read his book a little too slowly. It would have been nice to hear this spoken more conversationally, more naturally.


    What did you take away from The Tipping Point that you can apply to your work?

    Don't accept conventional maintstream answers, look beyond for answers. There might be unusual, but mundane reasons for why things happen.


    Any additional comments?

    The premise of The Tipping Point is interesting and everything the author wrote is interesting, but every time he offered reasons behind the reasons of why thins happened, I kept thinking, "Yeah, didn't we already know that?" So I didn't find the ideas revolutionary or new, just interesting. In the least, the ideas in the book will make for great conversational pieces.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenlynmo 11-08-13
    Jenlynmo 11-08-13

    Artist, Baker, Intropersonal skills expert, Mom.

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    "For those that enjoy the "Big picture""
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Tipping Point to be better than the print version?

    The delivery is a personal preferances. Dependant on needs, life style, learning style etc. Audio books are fantastic so I can multi task. Plus, I'm audio/"think in pictures" learner vs. reader. This doesn't change overall quality of book. The content is the same. AND it is utterly fantastic! Print vs. Audio irrelevant .... Unless its an audiobook read by James Earl Jones ;)


    Have you listened to any of Malcolm Gladwell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but this will be corrected STAT.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The back ground of how learning occurs using Harvard research of children's cartoons


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Glen Gardner, NJ, United States 07-16-13
    Karen Glen Gardner, NJ, United States 07-16-13 Member Since 2014

    Likes: Cozy mysteries (cats a plus), personal memoirs,not too dark fantasy, books about the brain. Dislikes: Torture, animal cruelty.

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    "Repetitive, with some interesting parts"
    What would have made The Tipping Point better?

    I was tempted not to post this review because I don’t want Audible to think I am someone in the habit of reading business self help type books (yuck), but I did end up listening to this for a company based book club discussion so I has some comments I’d like to make.
    This is the second Gladwell book I had to read for book club. Outliers was the other one. I liked this book better. Like his other book, this is what I would call, “cocktail party science”. He demonstrates an idea, uses studies to back it up. Of course you can find a study to say just about anything and some of the ones here were pretty over the top. There was the study that had students listen to a pitch to raise their tuition. Half had to nod their heads while listening and half didn’t. So the half that nodded were convinced their tuition should be raised. The non-nodding half wasn’t. Sure. Then there was study where they created a fake prison and half the volunteers were made guards and the other half inmates. All I have to say about that study is this: Note to self: NEVER volunteer for a “scientific study”. But I digress…
    This is actually a short book (280 pages) that feels long. Partially through I was desperate for someone to make me write an essay on the material because due to repetition I felt my grasp of it was so complete that I would easily get an A+. However, it definitely had some interesting parts. They discuss “Sesame Street” and “Blue’s Clues” and how those shows were tested on kids. I found that interesting. There is a discussion of why the number 150 is a magical number when controlling groups. We all found that interesting since our department was approaching 150 when we were “transformed”. He discusses fashion trends and disease trends. I think the part I found most interesting is about the decline of crime in New York City. I was intrigued by the discussion of Broken Windows Theory.
    Anyway, it is an interesting book, though easy to criticize. His first example relates to the shoes Hush Puppies and if I had a dollar for every time he said Hush Puppies in the book I might retire one day after all. Was sick to death of Hush Puppies, and really wanted to tell Mr. Gladwell that not everything has to do with everything else. Paul Revere’s ride is not like Hush Puppies! Teen smoking is not like Hush Puppies! Speaking of teen smoking though, he says some interesting (and some absurd) things on that topic. First he points out how the anti-smoking movement puts such effort into the fact that smoking is bad for you and how it is a terrible failure, partially because the fact that it is bad for you and your parents don’t want you to do it is part of the appeal, which I suppose is true enough. Not sure I agree with what he thinks you should (or shouldn’t) do about it. But that is part of the fun of the book – deciding whether or not you find his various points convincing.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adama Efuru Jamaica, NY 06-23-13
    Adama Efuru Jamaica, NY 06-23-13 Member Since 2010

    Dawn

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    "I'm glad I finally go this"
    Would you listen to The Tipping Point again? Why?

    I listened to the book 3 times in a row. It is very interesting and each time I learned more about myself and was inspired.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason SEATTLE, WA, United States 06-16-13
    Jason SEATTLE, WA, United States 06-16-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Malcolm Gladdwell has done it again!"
    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Hearing the progression of events that lead to an amazing result.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I would listen to it in the car, on my walk to work and at home until I finished it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Neil
    BROSELEY, SHROPSHIRE, United Kingdom
    5/27/09
    Overall
    "Surprising - but maybe not!"

    Gladwell the maverick gives us his take on the spread of ideas, urban myths, and "sticky" advertising.
    I found it hard to get out of the car when this was playing, and wanting to go for a drive just so that i could indulge myself a little more with this exquisite book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roger
    Southwick, West Sussex, United Kingdom
    2/16/09
    Overall
    "The tipping point is great"

    Try his videos on 'TED' if you want a free intro to him. It doesnt get to marketing really, until the end. To me thats fine as I prefer the idea of viral ideas than how to make people buy stuff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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