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Editorial Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Like the best social dynamics professor you never had, Malcolm Gladwell deconstructs a wide range of phenomena (from the reduction of crime in New York to the rise of Sesame Street) to deliver a fascinating understanding of how "social epidemics" spread. And while author/narrators are often a mixed blessing, Gladwell is so friendly and well-paced that I was actually disappointed when The Tipping Point was over. — Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

Featuring a new afterword.

Why did crime in New York drop in the mid-90s? Why is teenage smoking out of control? Why are television shows like Sesame Street good at teaching kids how to read?

In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

Gladwell uncovers the personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious.

The Tipping Point is an intellectual adventure story with an infectious enthusiasm for the power and joy of new ideas. Most of all, it is a road map to change, with a profoundly hopeful message: that one imaginative person applying a well-placed lever can move the world.

©2007 Malcolm Gladwell (P)2007 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Gladwell, a New Yorker staff writer, offers an incisive and piquant theory of social dynamics that is bound to provoke a paradigm shift in our understanding of mass behavioral change." ( Booklist) "Hip and hopeful, The Tipping Point is like the idea it describes: concise, elegant, but packed with social power. A book for anyone who cares about how society works and how we can make it better." (George Stephanopoulos)

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perfect for the car

I found this book to be insightful and well written as well as being seamlessly read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Worth the Listen!

I enjoyed this Gladwell book- it isn't my favorite book of his book it is definitely worth listening to.
With the advantage of time on my side I know that not all of the theories in the book have stood the test of time but most of them have. Regardless of how well these theories have survived this book has had a major cultural and political impact so it is important for me to listen to so I will understand references to this book in the media or in conversation. I am glad that I completed the book because of it's cultural impact but also because I did learn a great deal from it. It is also an easy and enjoyable listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved it

If you could sum up The Tipping Point in three words, what would they be?

Eye-Opening, Smart, Entertaining.

Any additional comments?

It reminded me of Freakonomics because of how statistics were used to explain things and the issues discussed (both books talked about reasons why the crime rate dropped in the 90s). But I thought Tipping Point was better than Freakonomics because it had more of a unifying theme.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric
  • Maui, Hawaii, United States
  • 01-15-12

Full of amazing and interesting information...

Full of amazing and interesting information, but maybe not the kind you will recite at cocktail parties. I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook and already bought a paper copy for a friend. Well written and thoroughly interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Daryl
  • United States
  • 01-10-12

Interesting, but ...

The author shares some interesting thoughts about social epidemics, but perhaps overemphasizes them. Also, is he advocating the understanding of these principles as useful for just marketing, or for more meaningful social change? It's not clear, although I would rather it be the latter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jee
  • Seoul, Korea (South)
  • 03-24-10

It's Okay

A decent book with interesting ideas on the anatomy of fads and ideas, but not a lot on what to do with those ideas. I think Gladwell's later books, Blink and Outlier, are better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • J Kaufman
  • Los Angeles, CA United States
  • 06-18-09

Insightful as always

After Outliers and Blink, I went searching for more of Gladwell's work and while this wasn't quite as earth shattering to me as the others, it was very good. In a nutshell, there are certain elements to any mania, fad or other 'thought epidemic' and he clearly details the types of people (e.g. 'connectors', 'mavens', 'persuaders') and the circumstances present when these things take off.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Andrei
  • Aurora, CO, USA
  • 08-25-08

Great read

Very engaging and informative. If you liked Seth Godin's books, you are going to enjoy this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • chris
  • Kelowna, BC, Canada
  • 07-31-07

Good information, lacking in focus

There is a lot of good information in here, but not quite enough to convince me of all the author's arguments. A lot of examples go into great depth and drift far from the point, and then come back an hour later. Sometimes I could see what the author was getting at, but there were obviously many contributing causes for his particular effect, not just the tipping point he addresses.

The main premise would be better served by more and shorter examples. Certainly he needs more examples, with the longer ones having occasional reminders as to why we are listening to this particular example in the first place.

Still, I enjoyed the book and looked forward to coming back to it. I will probably re-read it someday and maybe I will be better convinced then.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Brilliant

This book was brilliantly written, organized and performed. It filled the entire time with relevant cohesive arguments.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful