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
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
I enjoy Malcolm Gladwell's books, always an interesting take on topics and proves his point with story after story. This gets a 4 from me only because it was only 7 hours long and I wasn't satiated. I had to turn around and read it again the next day. Can I just point out that there is a small PDF file next to the book in the library. It contains a easy to find picture that you will want to see... look at it before you listen to the book and then go back and look at it again afterward... you will see two different pictures.
Yes--Gladwell gets better with every book.
I love how he presents his information.
Best one yet.
Probably wouldn't make a film--not that kind of book. Sorry, man.
One master-passion in the br east, like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest. A. Pope
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.
While this book may be well-intentioned, it is not a good representation on Biblical Christianity. If it were simply a self-help book filled with inspiring stories I would have rated it much higher, but by attempting to parallel itself with some sort of Christianity, it deserves a much stricter critique.
Apart from the moral of the last story, this reviewer thinks it runs instead contrary to many biblical principles - the last story is somewhat redemptive.
It smacks of guidance counselor philosophy pretending at Christianity by using stories like David and Goliath. The author seems to forget, or not to know, that David defeated Goliath in the power of God, and not in his own strength. That is an important principle that is sorely lacing in this book.
The first half of the book seems to be about 'standing out, power-of-me attitudes, finding the right environment (college and good jobs) to be a big fish in a small pond', and nothing at all about glorifying God. This is a pervasive an attitude in our mainstream churches, and is reflected in the churches desire to legislate theology rather than draw close to God and lead others there.
Traveler. Artist. Dreamer.
I find myself bringing this up at work, at a coffee shop with friends, getting a massage, & nearly any leisurely conversation I have. The contents of this book simply rolls off my tongue and I can't stop myself - yeah, Tipping Point style. Breaking unspoken rules? How devilishly delicious! This book leaves you questioning everything you "know" about rules, advantages, & disadvantages. I absolutely love it!
I love listening to books when cycling, paddleboarding, etc but I press pause when I need to concentrate. Its safer & I don't lose the plot!
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.
Malcolm Gladwell provides clear analysis of a very human and fascinating issue. Explores the issue of winners and losers considers situations then the "little" man wins against what seem to be "insurmountable odds."
It expands on themes discussed in Blink. I was interested in the number of successful people who suffered loss or great difficulties when they were young.
He is clear and perfectly understandable. He tell a great story for each of the scenarios he provides. He is able to explore the research behind the issues without ever being dull or pedantic.
I did read it in one sitting. I plan to go back a read it again.
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.
As per usual, Gladwell delivers fascinating information and an excellent performance. He shows that no matter your industry, we should all be story tellers. Tell a story to make a point and it's a point that will be remembered.
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