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David and Goliath | [Malcolm Gladwell]

David and Goliath

David and Goliath is the dazzling and provocative new book from Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw. Why do underdogs succeed so much more than we expect? How do the weak outsmart the strong? In David and Goliath Malcolm Gladwell takes us on a scintillating and surprising journey through the hidden dynamics that shape the balance of power between the small and the mighty.
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Publisher's Summary

David and Goliath is the dazzling and provocative new book from Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw.

Why do underdogs succeed so much more than we expect? How do the weak outsmart the strong? In David and Goliath Malcolm Gladwell takes us on a scintillating and surprising journey through the hidden dynamics that shape the balance of power between the small and the mighty. From the conflicts in Northern Ireland and Vietnam, through the tactics of civil rights leaders and the problem of privilege, Gladwell demonstrates how we misunderstand the true meaning of advantage and disadvantage.

When does a traumatic childhood work in someone's favour? How can a disability leave someone better off? And do you really want your child to go to the best school he or she can get into? David and Goliath draws on the stories of remarkable underdogs, history, science, psychology and on Malcolm Gladwell's unparalleled ability to make the connections others miss. It's a brilliant, illuminating book that overturns conventional thinking about power and advantage.

Author, journalist, cultural commentator, and intellectual adventurer, Malcolm Gladwell was born in 1963 in England to a Jamaican mother and an English mathematician father. He grew up in Canada and graduated with a degree in history from the University of Toronto in 1984. From 1987 to 1996, he was a reporter for The Washington Post, first as a science writer and then as New York City bureau chief. Since 1996, he has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine.

His curiosity and breadth of interests are shown in New Yorker articles ranging over a wide array of subjects including early childhood development and the flu, not to mention hair dye, shopping and what it takes to be cool. His first book, The Tipping Point, captured the world's attention with its theory that a curiously small change can have unforeseen effects, and the phrase has become part of our language, used by writers, politicians and business people everywhere to describe cultural trends and strange phenomena. His other international best-selling books are Blink, which explores how a snap judgment can be far more effective than a cautious decision, and What the Dog Saw, a collection of his most provocative and entertaining New Yorker pieces.

©2013 Malcolm Gladwell (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What the Critics Say

"A global phenomenon... there is, it seems, no subject over which he cannot scatter some magic dust." (Observer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (98 )
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4.3 (87 )
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4.4 (88 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rahul Nasik, India 12-02-13
    Rahul Nasik, India 12-02-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant"
    What did you love best about David and Goliath?

    Extremely intriguing and educating.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Very easy language.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The bit where he explains the duel of David and Goliath and why David was always the favourite to win,


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

    The bit about hitting a level below what you would otherwise just squeeze into.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book in the most mesmerising voice of Gladwell himself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caylene J. Vincent Ballarat, Australia 02-08-14
    Caylene J. Vincent Ballarat, Australia 02-08-14 Member Since 2009

    UQH

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    17
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    "What a Winner"
    Would you consider the audio edition of David and Goliath to be better than the print version?

    I simply find listening a whole lot easier than reading, as I can undertake tasks at the same time, so there is no guilt associated with this pleasure


    What other book might you compare David and Goliath to and why?

    How can you compare anything Malcolm Gladwell writes to anyone else, his style is quiet unique and is so well researched, you cant but see him as a "prophet" in his writing style


    What about Malcolm Gladwell’s performance did you like?

    Every bit of the journey of learning he takes you through in his book


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    What surprised me most of all was the research into smaller vrs bigger class sizes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jay United Kingdom 01-05-14
    jay United Kingdom 01-05-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    "Just couldnt perservere with it..."

    I wanted to really love this book, but the focus on sports related examples at the beginning just made me completely detatch. I haven't got a clue about basketball and so my attention span drifted and don't think i'll be returning to it. Shame as thought it would be just my kind of thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neale BELDONAustralia 11-30-13
    Neale BELDONAustralia 11-30-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Big vs Small"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Very interesting stories - many sad - he's tells a good story and know the power of stories to convey an idea.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Shows that was is obvious isn't always obvious and what is a limitation can be an advantage.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth a listen maybe not quite as good as his previous books - but it is still good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Felix Del Barrio Australia 10-21-13
    Felix Del Barrio Australia 10-21-13

    Felix Del Barrio

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Good-ish, but meandering, and then abruptly ends"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    A nice listen, which is not too dissimilar to Outliers, but abruptly ends leaving you wondering - 'wait, what was the point again'?


    If you’ve listened to books by Malcolm Gladwell before, how does this one compare?

    Ok, but Outliers had more punch.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth a download if you're a fan of Gladwell, just not a hugely new idea from him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results
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  • James
    London, United Kingdom
    10/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Swing and a miss"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I wouldn't recommend this. I've been a fan of Gladwell's since Blink. While Outliers was over-long, there was plenty of interesting stuff in there. But David & Goliath smacks of contractual obligation. The upshot is that the underdog needs to think a little differently in order to topple Goliath. Well, thanks, Malcolm.


    What was most disappointing about Malcolm Gladwell’s story?

    I kept waiting for him to take the stories he was telling and explain how perhaps we could apply it to our own lives. He didn't really do this. It was essentially Jackanory, with Malcolm telling a few stories - about civil rights, about the troubles in Northern Ireland - with little point. As a listener, there was a lot of "And?"


    What does Malcolm Gladwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Gladwell is a very good narrator. As is often the case with authors reading their own work, you can tell he really cares about his work. This certainly elevates it.


    Was David and Goliath worth the listening time?

    Ultimately, at seven hours, no, David & Goliath wasn't worth the reading time.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm still a fan of Gladwell and would check out his next work - he's an interesting voice. Let's hope this is just a rare misstep in an otherwise highly interesting and provocative career.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Fat Viking
    UK
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rather too simplistic even for Gladwell"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Gladwell's continued cherry picking of selective 'evidence' in order to demonstrate a point without ever really testing any of the hypotheses he puts forward. The point was well made in the opening chapter when talking about the girls basketball team but went on a steady decline thereafter.'


    What could Malcolm Gladwell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    See above. I know the simplification of popular psychology is his 'style' however too selective and too simple this time.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Malcolm Gladwell?

    The narration was fine and where possible or practical I like to listen to an audio book narrated by the author. Gladwell does a fine job in this regard.


    Do you think David and Goliath needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. I think the concept was exhausted in the first chapter.


    Any additional comments?

    Despite my comments above I enjoyed parts of the text and it passed the time on the walk to the station. That was until the chapter on the troubles in Northern Ireland. This chapter was a biased, poorly researched abomination that presents 'facts' in such a way that anyone reading this chapter who was ignorant of the facts of the troubles would be left with a very different impression of what actually happened during this time.

    The following text from another online review makes the point far better than I could, so I have quoted it below."One might imagine, on the basis of Gladwell’s account, that the majority of the casualties of the Troubles were killed by British forces. In fact, around 60 percent of the more than 3,500 people killed between 1969 and 2001 were killed by Republican forces, 30 percent by Ulster loyalists, and 10 percent by British troops. Within this overall figure, British forces and local security services suffered more than 1,100 deaths. If the British were Goliath in this conflict, they suffered a good many wounds in its course.

    Gladwell’s account does more than oversimplify. It is a kind of moral cartoon, a rendition of events in which there are no difficulties that cannot be overcome by reasonable men and women of goodwill. He tells us nothing of the lengthy and tortuous path that led to the relative peace that prevails in Northern Ireland today. If only he had been around to have a quiet word with British commanders, Gladwell seems to be suggesting, and share a few academic papers with them, none of the horrors that unfolded need ever have happened."

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • M
    South Shields, United Kingdom
    11/27/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unconvincing"
    What disappointed you about David and Goliath?

    The book seemed to lack evidence or explanation of how people had overcome their problems to make a success of their lives. It was very unhelpful.


    What was most disappointing about Malcolm Gladwell’s story?

    The anti-British tone of the sections about Northern Ireland. A complex history and community is simplified to be nonsensical extent. Patronizing and simplistic.


    What three words best describe Malcolm Gladwell’s performance?

    Unscientific. Patronizing. Simplistic.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from David and Goliath?

    The beginning, middle and the end.


    Any additional comments?

    Can I have my money back?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas
    Nottingham, United Kingdom
    11/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    ""I Could Listen To Malcolm All Day Long""
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It has so many a-ha type moments that will help you see your own advantages (advantages disadvantages) more clearly as well as helping you see them in others.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The struggle of the cancer researcher Dr.Jay Freireich.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is ideal for Audio, especially as the author is as good an orator as he is a writer. I enjoyed every moment of this verbal salad.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • jill middlemas
    6/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought provoking"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audio to most people I know


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I couldn't specifie just one character all the stories touched me


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

    No


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Not sure


    Any additional comments?

    Worth a listen it's very helpful in every day life. Makes you think

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Enfield, United Kingdom
    11/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "it held me"
    Would you consider the audio edition of David and Goliath to be better than the print version?

    I like listening to the short and pithy stories


    What was one of the most memorable moments of David and Goliath?

    about choosing the right university, I have told my students


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Second from the left
    London, England
    10/31/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fluent and thought provoking, recommended"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'm a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell's, and enjoyed this book as much as his previous titles. I am currently also reading Quiet by Susan Cain and the two go hand in hand nicely - challenging our assumptions around good, bad, big, small, strengths and weaknesses. In this latest book Gladwell, as always, leads us through his thorough research, pulling out strong themes and conclusions from his well told examples and histories, ranging from the civil war, the troubles in Ireland, the Civil rights movement and Birmingham and the breakthroughs in the treatment of childhood leukemia. I've not listened to him before - and found it even more engaging knowing the author himself was reading to me. I listen as part of my commute and this book balances the light, airey and easy to follow with the detailed and statistical. His style is fluent and accessible, yet intellectual as ever - and, as a result, I thoroughly enjoyed the listen. Thanks.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Diversity of the subject matter, covering many different personal examples and examples from history and wider society.


    Which character – as performed by Malcolm Gladwell – was your favourite?

    Yes - very insightful, bringing to life a number of his points through extensive examples and interesting references. His style is pleasant and perfectly suited to an audio book.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Little


    Any additional comments?

    I'm off to buy his other works on audio!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gbenga
    5/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent and inspirational"
    What did you like most about David and Goliath?

    The myth shattering wisdom presented in the different stories shared inspires courage to dare!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of David and Goliath?

    All of it really.... It was an adventurous journey start to finish!


    What about Malcolm Gladwell’s performance did you like?

    Excellent writing and well performed reading!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The pram pushing women of Northern Ireland! Oh that sure moved me.... I was suddenly there watching these amazing women fight their Goliath.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you Mr Gladwell, thank you.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Justine
    Bulls, New Zealand
    3/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating listen"
    Would you listen to David and Goliath again? Why?

    Yes and I will - there is so much in it that it is hard to take it all in on the first listen.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of David and Goliath?

    All of it.


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

    No, but I have read his other books and now I will get the audio books of some of those.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Don't assume anything.


    Any additional comments?

    Just a really great listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • alan
    Battle, United Kingdom
    1/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Big on ideas"
    What did you like most about David and Goliath?

    Great stories with thought provoking anecdotes


    What other book might you compare David and Goliath to, and why?

    All Gladwells stuff. Similar in content to Wait, and echoed with some of the Made to Stick themes.


    Which character – as performed by Malcolm Gladwell – was your favourite?

    Not pertinent


    Any additional comments?

    Very good. Definitely worth a read or listen

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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