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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

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  •  
    Gina HERNDON, VIRGINIA, United States 11-20-13
    Gina HERNDON, VIRGINIA, United States 11-20-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent book!"

    It will keep you interested the whole time. I could not put it down.
    Truly intriguing and inspiring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April CARR, CO, United States 11-20-13
    April CARR, CO, United States 11-20-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Another Happy Customer!"
    If you could sum up David and Goliath in three words, what would they be?

    Challenging, Motivating, FreshDavid and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell is a wonderful collection of thought provoking story telling and statistics. Only Gladwell can cultivate such a story that insists that the reader question the status-quo time and again. I was greatly encouraged to evaluate ways of our modern Western culture after reading Outliers in 2010. David and Goliath, is just as motivating.Mr. Gladwell's ability to collect meaningful data and present it with a fresh interpretation in such a beautifully articulate form is beautiful. Over and over again as he begins to tell each part of the story the reader is hooked in by the effectiveness of his unique writing. Mr. Gladwell is one of the best storytellers of our time. I am so glad that he uses his story telling platform to teach his readers many things from a new perspective and does not squander away such an honor by agreeing with the popular schools of thought in our day and age. A true Outlier.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The nameless Hollywood wealthy man. He was able to put into words the importance of dilligence in parenting the next generation. Even though he was wealthy, he didn't come from a background of wealth. This man and Gladwell tastefully convey the truth about old proverbs like "stars to stables" and back it up with thoroughly researched statistics. All through the book, there are unique instances of David and Goliath type obstacles. Finances, physical attributes or lack of, educational influences, sport comparisons and even new perspectives on War and advancement of the underdog. The story of the wealthy man was particularly interesting to me as the common school of thought that "wealthier families have more opportunities because they can buy them" was deeply challenged by statistical data revealed through Gladwell's gifted storytelling.


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

    The tone and articulation that Gladwell uses are a real gift. the pace and seemingly lyrical way he puts the words in order makes the message come alive!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    It would be a documentary.... not many tag lines there.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Sarasota, FL, United States 11-20-13
    Andrew Sarasota, FL, United States 11-20-13 Member Since 2011

    MA Golfer

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    "Too many fundamental mistakes"
    Any additional comments?

    The story on "Big Fish" tells about a women who went to a very competitive Ivy League school and found that she did not do well in science, thusly dropping out of science. Gladwell used this to lead into his central premise that doing well at a worse school was better than doing average or poorly at a better school. His example was the successful graduation of good physics majors at Hartwick College even though they were not as well prepared as the worse students at Ivy League schools (many of whom did not graduate in physics). Gladwell believes that the same physics education and materials occur at both schools!

    Gladwell simply does not know what he is talking about. The educational materials used to teach physics at Hartwick and MIT (or Harvard) are far from equivalent. The books used at a weak college will be much easier (less advanced material, less difficult problems) and the professors' expectations of the students will be much lower.

    I speak from experience as I was a physics undergraduate at SUNY Oneonta (entering after scoring in the 99th percentile on the Math SAT) and received all A's in every science and math class at Oneonta. When I took the Advanced Physics GRE for entry to graduate school, I scored in the 34th percentile because I had never been exposed to much of the material that was the topic of the questions! After a year of graduate school at the one university that did not ask for GRE, I scored in the 98th percentile!

    Later, I became a very successful professor of physical chemistry at one of the top 20 universities in the USA (mentoring a number of students to the Phd, receiving many research grants, publishing 100's of papers, giving talks all over the world, etc). I ran in the top circles with all the other professors, most of whom were Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, etc graduates, and I learned that their undergraduate education covered more topics, had more advanced material, and required deeper understanding to do the problems. As just one example, the books that they used for senior level quantum mechanics were considered too hard for masters level physics at Oneonta.

    My advice is to attend the best school that you can get into and work as hard as possible to overcome the competition. The top schools will provide the best competition. This is no different than athletics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corey DOVER, DE, United States 11-20-13
    Corey DOVER, DE, United States 11-20-13 Member Since 2013
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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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    "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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    "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
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