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
Malcolm Gladwell is at it again. Taking conventional wisdom and turning it on its head. What is an advantage? What's a disadvantage?
I listened to The Tipping Point a few years ago and found Gladwell's ideas fascinating but somewhat strained. In David and Goliath, erudition and clever stories mask flawed thinking to an even greater degree. In a nutshell, Gladwell's theory is that inappropriate strategies inevitably flow from advantages or strengths. That sort of flawed causal thinking pervades this book.
For example, in using science education as an example of the "Goliath effect," he makes a facially clever comparison between admissions test scores at "top" undergraduate programs with those at middle-tier schools. His premise is that students at top schools drop out of science because they compare themselves only to high-powered peers at the top-tier school, whilst their test-score counterparts at middle-tier schools stick it out. Nice theory, but it assumes that everyone goes to college with the same goal: a maths or sciences degree. In other words, he assumes that all motivations are created equal across the board. I found this kind of slipshod logic pervasive and maddening.
To be fair, though, Mr. Gladwell is an excellent reader. Maybe he should take on some reading for other authors.
As always, I feel I've come away from this book with a greater understanding of limitations I place on myself and the world around me. I have been changed again.
Philosopher, Entrepreneur, Social Psychologist.
I find Malcolm Gladwell to be a brilliant writer. his stories are intriguing and thought provoking and this book much of the same.
One of my favorites of his. This book goes through a number of stories of people who and triumphed in the face of misfortune and their methodology for how it was done. Very interesting, and as usual has enlightened my life.
I love the pacing and tone of Mr. Gladwells delivery. He obviously is well aware of the content but he presents in a way that makes it dynamic and entertaining.
I liked the bit about how disagreeableness doesn't always mean that you are just unpopular or being obstinate. Disagreeableness is sometimes the thing that makes doing your job easier. When you don't have to worry about what people think, it is much easier to follow your heart and just do what you think in right.
Where the police chief went around giving turkeys to the kids. The idea of helping criminals and being of service to them is such a dichotomy, that this really explained how doing something so counter-intuitive wound up being a blessing for everyone involved.
Malcolm Gladwell is my favorite non-fiction author and reader. His books will change the way that you think about things. It is so interesting how he takes data and ideas and merges them together.
I learn more when I listen to audiobooks and I can chew through a lot more books this way! Audiobooks are also a lot easier with a TBI
I would (and have) recommend this book to my friends and anyone else looking for a book that is both fun and informative. Gladwell always bring a fresh perspective to history and society, I find his views helpful and uplifting.
This book reminds me of Gladwell's "Outliers" but there isn't overlapping data, the stories are new and approached from a new perspective.
As far as Gladwell's performance goes I think he does a very good job narrating his own books. I prefer books that are read by the author and I liked his performance in this book.
It was addictive and really hard to press pause. I finished it in a couple days and then went out and got more of his books
Gladwell always asks his readers to be open to the possibility that the opposite of what they believe may be true. Beginning with the story of David and Goliath, he makes the argument that weakness can be its own advantage and follows this thread through dozens of examples. A fantastic example of the kind of book that will change your mindset for the rest of your life.
I'd recommend this book along with his other books, blink, outliers, and the tipping point. I'm glad that the author reads it as well.
The threads of David and Goliath are not as impressively interwoven as his other books. He is a great story teller, but there are too many violent and depressing stories in this one.
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