Audie Award Finalist, Non-Fiction, 2013
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
The Journalist who loves Jack Russels!
Yes. This book is awesome. There were many observations and examples that I found extraordinary in the way we think and view Giants. The world thinks in the direction that was outlined so vividly and I embraced with much appreciation what I learned. Thank you Malcolm Gladwell… :)
The education portion.
Yes, I was quite surprised…didn't think it would pull off, but I was really impressed.
Where we are as a people.
If only the world would read this book with a good heart and learn from it to bring change in ourselves and in our world.
Malcolm Gladwell typically provides highly interesting insights and food for thought challenging popular perceptions. The best example in this book is the title story of David and Goliath. He shows quite persuasively that David was no innocent shepherd boy, but a highly skilled variant of a well-known military fighter of his time: the “slinger” who attacked his opponent from a distance with well-directed and lethal stones from a slingshot. He caught Goliath by surprise, but his weapon and role were not that great a surprise.
That said, Mr. Gladwell does make a couple of claims in this book that in my mind were not well-founded. The first related to the supposed strategic mistakes made by the British Army in Northern Ireland in the early 1970’s in trying to bring peace to that troubled region. The second is his claim that the California “Three Strikes” law eventually proved harmful to the state. I think the Northern Ireland conclusion is overdrawn. Yes, the British made many mistakes in that peacekeeping role. However, I do not believe they were the strategic dunderheads that Mr. Gladwell suggests they were. They had a very difficult problem, with IRA terrorists on one side and extremist Ulster “orangemen” on the other. In the case of the California “Three Strikes” law, I live in California. I voted for Three Strikes and believe it has played an important role in bringing down California crime rates. Has it been too severe in particular cases? Yes. Does it have room for improvement? Also yes. But has it been a mistake overall? I think not and respectfully disagree with Mr. Gladwell on his conclusion.
The book got off to a very strong start, which continued until the final couple of hours. At that point, the discussion about Northern Ireland and medical research destroyed the arc of the story.
I enjoy passionate narrators. Great content is also a good thing.
His performance was great. Malcolm Gladwell keeps the reader wanting more. The story was great and hope to read more from him.
Select stories from the Old Testament/Torah have been written and re-written for children for decades. The biblical story of David and Goliath is as well-known as Jonah and the fish. The application of the underdog overcoming all odds to beat the giant has been repeated and applied to one person suing Proctor & Gamble and winning, a 60 year old woman swimming from Cuba to Florida, and to a small cadre of soldiers winning independence from a powerful mother country. Stories such as these surround us, and yet, we are always amazed and we always want to read the story again.
The physiological/physical examination of Goliath’s acromegaly and pituitary macroadenoma has been noted in previous publications. It is the case of innocent childhood bravado up against a physically impaired adult coming together in an unexpected way, a fresh approach, that results in a new conclusion. The same surprise at results is recorded by Gladwell as he examines the easily believed study that shows smaller class size results in better performing students to be false and more money doesn’t result in more happiness. Let’s just fire the bad teachers and accept that money can’t really buy happiness.
I have read all of Malcom Gladwell’s books. This one is the dullest of all. Nothing new has been revealed. No reasons are given to be excited at saying you have read this book. He has researched this extensively, well, maybe too much, to arrive at conclusions that are not profound. His dull, nearly monotone voice is empty of enthusiasm and is “music” to sleep by. If you have read Blink! The Outliers, or The Tipping Point, you must read this one to hear what I mean.
So much to learn, and so little time to sit down and read. Thanks Audible.
I love the way Gladwell examines something we've traditionally taken at face value, and then breaks it down to reveal a different truth once all the facts (or extensive research) are laid on the table. It is such a pleasure to listen to all his books. I constantly find myself thinking, "Wow, I never thought of it like that!"
This book is a fun, informational, and easy listen, but if for no other reason you have to read this book so you won't feel left out when your friends, business associates, other authors, pastors, etc. make references to something Gladwell wrote. He has to be one of the most quoted present day authors, and for good reason.
Reader, Writer, Musicmkr, Dad
I listened to this audiobook a few months ago right after it came out. I was disappointed, but thought perhaps I had set my expectations too high so I waited until now to rate it.
In my opinion, this is a real drop-off from Gladwell's previous books. A few of his anecdotes like the one relating to schooling, seemed a real stretch on the book's theme of David v. Goliath. I still love his work, his methodology and his contribution to American letters. No one can sustain the type of quality found in his previous books. This appears to be a blip on the radar, although from the reviews many people think this is just as good. I'm glad they do; it just happens that I don't.
Not especially. Gladwell (in this book anyway) suffers from being a poor statistician in most of his scenarios. There are, in almost all the cases he presents, very plausible mitigating factors, which he neglects. He falls into the common statistical trap of being pretty happy with what you found through limited research. He doesn't show a particularly deep knowledge of any of the subjects he presents, save perhaps the actual biblical David and Goliath.
Too easy, and often incomplete.
no. not relevant
I find myself wanting to agree with his premises, but his arguments are too shallow to be truly persuasive. Instead, if seems like each individual case he discusses could turn into a real, detailed study that provides real insight, proving or disproving Gladwell's conjecture. They are certainly far from proven in this work.
Greetings. My brother introduced me to Audible in 2011. Since, nothing but enjoyment. Hopefully my reviews are very useful to you. Enjoy!
Not within my top 20.
It gives you different angles to see life and to achieve success through odds you may not recognize that are to your advantage.
No. First and most likely the last one. I may have messed up by reading the reviews by the critics prior to listening to this book---the did this book bad.
The opening regarding David & Goliath scenario.
Many valid points but seems to come from a twisted mind.
I find Malcolm Gladwell's voice both engaging and soothing and I have spent many hours listening and re-listening to his reading of his own works. Some, like The Tipping Point and Blink are among my favorite non-fiction reads (in print) as well. David and Goliath was a good listen, but mainly because I enjoyed hearing the author read a new work. The premise of the book is established in the introduction (and implied in the title) and while the reinforcing examples are fascinating, they are far from riveting. I think other Gladwell fans will be happy for more from our favorite contemporary sociologist. But newbies are best advised to make one of the above-mentioned selections their first listen.
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