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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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  •  
    Chewe East Lansing, Michigan, United States 12-04-13
    Chewe East Lansing, Michigan, United States 12-04-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Book!!"
    What made the experience of listening to David and Goliath the most enjoyable?

    simple and to the point


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

    Lead with a Story by Paul Smith. The book uses stories to support the author's points.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The description of the inverted U-shaped curve and the discussion on choice between being at a top school and a not so renowned school. As in PhD student, this resonated with me.


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

    when talking about the Civil Rights movement in relation to the central thesis of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I am not sure though why the author spent so much time on the three strike rule and other legal examples in the latter sections of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Izzy 12-04-13
    Izzy 12-04-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Not the best Gladwell book"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, only the first 2 1/2 hours where worth listening to.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The David and Goliath analogies in the first part of the book are very insightful


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

    No, too boring


    Any additional comments?

    I read NYTimes reviews of the book after being done with it, and those reviews were, for once, dead on for me. Great insight in the first 1/3 of the book information that can be useful for business logic and thinking. After that the book is very very repetitive and gets too dark for me. I would not recommend, one of Gladwell's worst work, and I like all his other books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Theorin Landenberg, PA, United States 12-04-13
    Craig Theorin Landenberg, PA, United States 12-04-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Good, but not Gladwell's best."
    Would you listen to David and Goliath again? Why?

    Yes, it made me think deeply from about my own weaknesses and the ways I've compensated for them into strengths. During my drive while listening I realized there were some points I needed to explore further.


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

    What the Dog Saw. It felt like a great topic for a series of short stories...not necessarily an entire book.


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

    N/A


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

    A discussion of strengths, weaknesses and how advantages are born.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm a huge Malcolm Gladwell fan since he both entertains and gets me thinking about things important to me personally and professionally. Blink helped me improve my customer surveys. What the Dog Saw helped me with interviewing. D vs G didn't have quite that impact, but was none-the-less quite interesting. Just felt like the story was a bit long for the message. Having said that, I was in holiday traffic while listening and it passed the time marvelously!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Algonquin, IL, United States 12-01-13
    John Algonquin, IL, United States 12-01-13 Member Since 2011

    Any fool can know something the point is to understand!

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    "Think About it Again"

    While it may not change your mind it will make you think about your beliefs and challenges you to view opposing mind sets. I enjoyed how he brought up many common ideas and asked you to view them from another point of view. His questioning of some issues may be uncomfortable; but isn't learning something new always uncomfortable?

    Well read and well written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan 12-01-13
    Megan 12-01-13
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    "worth it"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would up to 3/4 of the way through, then it gets a little long. I think it does a great job of pointing out everyday events in a new light- which is something Gladwell excels at.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The character who chose the hardest school and ended up leaving science as a result was my favorite. Probably because I felt like it is something that happens to more people everyday and people never see it.


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

    no opinion- he does a good job with these readings


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

    yes, for the most part. I enjoyed listening to it on what would have otherwise been a boring car trip-part of the reason I chose a Gladwell book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Fisher-Day SE Michigan 11-29-13
    Laura Fisher-Day SE Michigan 11-29-13 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Love Malcolm Gladwell books"

    I have read / listened to all of Malcolm Gladwell's books. He has a way of making you think differently about things. This is another hit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Schurr Boston, MA 11-27-13
    Eric Schurr Boston, MA 11-27-13 Member Since 2012
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    "I love Gladwell, but this is disappointing"

    I've read all of Malcolm Gladwell's books and loved everyone of them, but this one didn't work for me.

    The beginning is good, with some interesting stories and analysis, but then it ventures into weird areas that read more like a history book. I often couldn't figure out how it had anything to do with the "David/Little Guy and Goliath/Big Guy" concept. It was just too abstract and obtuse.

    I will give Gladwell credit for the ton of research he must have done on this book --- it's got some very interesting facts and stories that i can't imagine how he discovered. I'm sure he worked hard at it.

    I also think he does a good job of reading the book -- his inflections and pace add a lot of emphasis to key areas.

    But overall, I can not recommend it like his other books. I often thought about turning it off, but I forced myself to slog through it, hoping it would get better.

    It didn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Mattucci Baltimore, MD USA 11-26-13
    D. Mattucci Baltimore, MD USA 11-26-13 Member Since 2015
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    "It's Gladwell, but no Outliers"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    It's definitely not as entertaining and addicting as other Gladwell books, but it had some bright spots. I'm glad I read it overall, just to at least round out the library of his work, but I think it's the weakest thus far and that the profiles in the book lack the pop of those from either outliers, blink, or tipping point.


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

    I would rate it as my least favorite thus far, and also mention that the subject matter was the heaviest I've come across from his work.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Malcolm Gladwell’s performances?

    I haven yet listened to Tipping Point, though I've read it. I may listen to that as it's a different experience doing so in comparison to reading.


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

    It's entertaining in some of the bits, but overall a bit of a let down as I was eagerly awaiting a new Gladwell tome!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 11-25-13
    Sam Motes Tampa 11-25-13 Listener Since 2009

    Audible obsessed lifelong learner.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A shout out for the under dog"

    In this work Gladwell looks at how by exploiting the big bad adversary by making their strength their biggest weakness often the underdog can prevail. He starts with the story of David and Goliath and expands from there to many other examples of the phenomenon. It is a very inspiring read. The only part I took fault with was the discussion of the disadvantage of the small fish in the big pond when talking about the average student at the top tier colleges like Harvard and Brown. Gladwell’s points about the morale of the student being better if they went to a lower rung school and became the big fish in the smaller pond but I feel that over simplifies things since often just having a Harvard or Brown on one’s transcript can open many doors that the lower rung school couldn’t. I don’t disagree with Gladwell’s analysis but felt to ignore the big name school on a transcript impact is a bit one sided. Favorite thought from the books was that courage is not what you have in you from the start, but is earned through embracing a challenge and realizing it is not as bad as it once seemed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber 11-25-13
    Amber 11-25-13
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    "GREAT READ."
    Any additional comments?

    Loved this book, would recommend. I have ready everything by Gladwell and love his work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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