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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants | [Malcolm Gladwell]

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks. Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, October 2013 - Get ready to have your view of the world turned upside down. Malcolm Gladwell - best-selling author of Blink, The Tipping Point, and Outliers - returns to present new ways of looking at why being among the advantaged is not always advantageous. David & Goliath explores the \"art of battling giants\" through the personal accounts of underdogs and misfits whose wild success stories are often falsely considered flukes. This is not a sentimental celebration of good things happening to good people. In true Gladwellian fashion, the real reasons behind so many pull-from-behind wins are completely unexpected. And if you've ever heard any of the author's many speaking engagements you know to expect a lively listening experience with Gladwell narrating the book himself. —Tricia, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Winner, Non-Fiction, 2014

Malcolm Gladwell, the number-one best-selling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw, offers his most provocative - and dazzling - book yet.

Three thousand years ago, on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn't have won.

Or should he have?

In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.

Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland's Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms - all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity.

In the tradition of Gladwell's previous best sellers, David and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think about the world around us.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.


©2013 Malcolm Gladwell (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

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  •  
    Corey DOVER, DE, United States 11-20-13
    Corey DOVER, DE, United States 11-20-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    10
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    "Good points, shaky data"
    What made the experience of listening to David and Goliath the most enjoyable?

    The stories and details Gladwell share so engagingly are truly memorable.


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

    This book is most like Gladwell's other work, "The Tipping Point"


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Malcolm Gladwell is a great storyteller but his voice is not trained for, nor especially suited to reading out loud. Although the author can often lend especial insight into his work, in this case I think he would have done better hiring someone else to take care of the reading.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin mexico city, Mexico 11-19-13
    Benjamin mexico city, Mexico 11-19-13 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

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    "ANOTHER HIT"
    Would you consider the audio edition of David and Goliath to be better than the print version?

    ILLUSTRATIONS AND GRAPHICS ARE IMPORTANT ON MALCOLM GLADWELL SO MAYBE PRINT VERSION WOULD BE BETTER


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

    EVERYTHING MALCOLM GLADWELL WRITES HAS A NEW MEANING


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

    HEARD THEM ALL, THIS IS ONE MORE EXCELLENT BOOK


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

    NO, I HAD TO DIGEST PIECE BY PIECE.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Incline Village, NV, United States 11-18-13
    Richard Incline Village, NV, United States 11-18-13 Member Since 2006
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    217
    7
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    "Fun listent, but not Gladwell's best"
    Would you try another book from Malcolm Gladwell and/or Malcolm Gladwell?

    I always enjoy Gladwell's books.


    Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

    Concepts were easy enough to understand, but I didn't feel Gladwell made the some sort of cohesive argument/case in this books as he has in his past works.


    What about Malcolm Gladwell’s performance did you like?

    He is a great storyteller, very engaging.


    Could you see David and Goliath being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Can't see it


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Fayetteville, NC, United States 11-18-13
    Rachel Fayetteville, NC, United States 11-18-13 Member Since 2012
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    14
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    "Gladwell Reads Gladwell - Hard to Pick a Favorite"
    What made the experience of listening to David and Goliath the most enjoyable?

    I've always loved Gladwell's books. And believe me, this is a big deal as I'm a fantasy and science fiction devourer. I was excited about his new book and downloaded it from audible for an upcoming long drive. I was disappointed when I saw that the author narrates his own book. I mean, really, what author can read aloud as well as he can write? Oh, was I mistaken. Malcolm Gladwell is a phenomenal narrator with just the right balance of nuance and cadence.


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

    Each chapter has a very strong memorable moment, as Gladwell paints his points so vibrantly. From the arguments against the American attempts at affirmative action to the benefits of dyslexia, his points are unexpected and wonderful in equal measure.


    What about Malcolm Gladwell’s performance did you like?

    Gladwell's narration is exciting and poignant, just like listening to a really good fiction novel that keeps you on the edge of your seat and makes you yearn for more when the tale has been told.


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

    This book made my jaw hang open. It brought tears of "Oh, my god, that's ME!" to my eyes. It made me shake my head at the shear audacity of his ideas and then say ah hah! after he'd made his point.


    Any additional comments?

    Read this book. It does not disappoint. Not for a chapter, not for a paragraph, not for a sentence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rodrigo Sandoval Almazan Albany, NY 11-17-13
    Rodrigo Sandoval Almazan Albany, NY 11-17-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Unfortunate with great expectations"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Maybe this book is could be a good one for newcomers of Gladwell reading, the history of Goliath is very attractive and give a good entrance of the whole story on the book. This author usually links common life problems with wisdom and life lessons. This was not the case, the book has isolated examples that did not match with the opening history, that is the main weakness


    Would you ever listen to anything by Malcolm Gladwell again?

    Yes of course, but I will look into the reviews first, because I bought the book in a pre-order and was a complete deception in all senses. I read a different book of Gladwell quality.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Great, I mean to heard the book from the same author is an extraordinary way to understand the content.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The main strenght is the first chapter: The David & Goliath history that opens the book. There are several data and comments that I do not know and find interesting ones.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Raglan, New Zealand 11-16-13
    Mark Raglan, New Zealand 11-16-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Psychology Schmikology"

    I understand that people who write books for a living have to keep generating ideas for new material. This must be very taxing, and I guess this is why there exists the concept of ‘writer’s block’. When Malcolm Gladwell sat down and starting scratching out this latest offering I think he was probably struggling a bit and scraping towards the bottom of the barrel.

    He’s written some really good works that change the way his readers think about the world. In ‘the Tipping Point’ we learnt what factors combine to make something ‘go viral’, a la Gangnam Style. In ‘Blink’ we saw how adept humans are at making intuitive judgements in milliseconds with limited information, and in Outliers we realised that successful people are often winners because of arbitrary lucky factors rather than pure talent. In David and Goliath I’m not too sure what we learn, and if there is a core message in there, it’s a bit tenuous and foggy.

    The basic idea of the book is that underdogs often prevail against the odds, and that this is the result of a number of factors such as: they break the rules; they aren’t afraid to do unpopular things; they are the products of difficult childhoods with ‘desirable difficulties’ such as dyslexia; their enemies underestimate them and misunderstand the use of power. These messages are intertwined with some quack pseudo-psychological theories, such as the notion that when the British Army were in Northern Ireland they didn’t realise they were on the ‘downside of the inverted u’.

    There is some good stuff in this book. There are some insights that I could imagine being relevant to me in some future situation in my life, and the book was enjoyable because of the fascinating human interest stories that Gladwell tells so well, but there are too many generalisations and oversimplifications of complex issues which the author-narrator manipulates to fit his theory, whatever that may be.


    .


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gohar Issaquah, WA 11-15-13
    Gohar Issaquah, WA 11-15-13 Member Since 2008

    I Like scifi-fantasy, non-fiction, historical fiction genres. Liked Wot, Got, Pillars of Earth, Century trilogy. Last read: Maritan. luvd it

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    "As always; excellent perspective on lot of things"

    Loved reading (or listening to) this book. Malcolm Gladwell does it again with his gladwellian style of juxtaposing things in a different light. Gladwell does a great job of putting the stories in a proper sequence and the book flows nicely. With such boring topics, Gladwell knows how to make things shiny.

    I have read all his books and this and Outliers are one of his best. Go for it. And Gladwell narration is one of the best too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 11-15-13
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 11-15-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Not Gladwell at his best"
    Any additional comments?

    I am a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell but it didn't feel as though his heart was totally in this one. He makes some interesting points about how perceived disadvantages can be misleading but one sense this subject is better handled as a longer essay than a book treatment. As always, he weaves in some interesting subjects but overall it feels a bit like Gladwelll lite.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Italy 11-11-13
    Michael Italy 11-11-13 Member Since 2010
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    "A Yawner- Gladwell makes the mundane come to life."
    Would you try another book from Malcolm Gladwell and/or Malcolm Gladwell?

    Ive tried them all....this one was a dud. It had moments but fizzled into uninteresting and uncompelling conjecture.


    Has David and Goliath turned you off from other books in this genre?

    not at all.


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

    Ive listened to them all. I suppose if this was your first Gladwell book it would be better. I got the sense he wrote this as a desperate attempt to fulfill a contract obligation.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    Shallow in all aspects.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-11-13
    Steve Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-11-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Pretty thin"
    What disappointed you about David and Goliath?

    This book feels more like a series of musings, rather than balanced discussion.


    Has David and Goliath turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    kind of, but I felt the author's style was over dramatized


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I liked some of the basic thoughts, about the best strategies for underdogs.


    Any additional comments?

    It was fine, but at the end the 'research' felt stretched and too biased

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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