• Talking to Strangers

  • What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know
  • By: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (70,471 ratings)

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Talking to Strangers

By: Malcolm Gladwell
Narrated by: Malcolm Gladwell
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A Conversation with Best-selling Author Malcolm Gladwell

News and Nonfiction Get the stories beyond the headlines

Publisher's summary

Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the number-one New York Times best seller Outliers, reinvents the audiobook in this immersive production of Talking to Strangers, a powerful examination of our interactions with people we don’t know.

How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn't true?

While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers, you’ll hear the voices of people he interviewed - scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There’s even a theme song - Janelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout”.

Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don't know. And because we don't know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.

The audiobook edition of Talking to Strangers was an instant number-one best seller, and was one of the most pre-ordered audiobooks in history. It seamlessly marries audiobooks and podcasts, creating a completely new and real listening experience.

©2019 Malcolm Gladwell (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"Malcolm Gladwell is a fabulous narrator of his latest book... His pleasing tone, phrasing palette, and exceptional skill with dramatic pauses all sound natural, yet add sparkling energy to his writing." (AudioFile Magazine)

"Talking to Strangers is a must-read...I love this book.... Reading it will actually change not just how you see strangers, but how you look at yourself, the news - the world.... Reading this book changed me." (Oprah Winfrey, O, The Oprah Magazine)

"Gladwell has again delivered a compelling, conversation-starting read.... At a time when the world feels intractably polarized, a book examining the varying ways we misinterpret or fail to communicate with one another could not feel more necessary.... With a mix of reporting, research and a deft narrative hand, Gladwell illuminates these examples with the page-turning urgency of a paperback thriller." (Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times)

Our favorite moments from Talking to Strangers

Default to Truth
  • Talking to Strangers
  • Default to Truth
  • Talking to Strangers
  • Transparency
  • Talking to Strangers
  • Coupling

About the Creator and Performer

Malcolm Gladwell is a Canadian journalist, author, and podcaster. He is the host of the podcasts Revisionist History and Broken Record and co-founder of the audio production company Pushkin Industries. For his sixth audiobook, the #1 New York Times audio best-seller Talking to Strangers, he drew on real-life audio–including archival footage and clips from his own interviews—to incorporate the production techniques of a podcast into the audiobook format. It has been praised by Audible listeners as "a new era in audiobooks…and maybe in relating to others." He has also written and narrated The Tipping Point (2000); Blink (2005); Outliers (2008); and David and Goliath (2013), all of which are New York Times best-sellers. Gladwell’s books and articles often deal with the unexpected implications of research in the social sciences, particularly sociology, psychology, and social psychology. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2011 and has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He lives in New York.

Photographed by Celeste Sloman