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Outliers: The Story of Success [ OUTLIERS: THE STORY OF SUCCESS ] by Gladwell, Malcolm (Author) Jun-07-2011 [ Paperback ] [Unknown Binding]

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)

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  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B007NBW0VG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996. In 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005) and most recently, Outliers (2008) all three of which were number one New York Times bestsellers.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy, but don't plan your life on it 10 July 2013
By Mac McAleer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Outlier is a term used in statistics for a data point that stands out from the rest of the sample and this book is about the outliers of success. Near the beginning of the book the author says "... there is something profoundly wrong with the way we make sense of success." There is always more to success than the magical, in-built brilliance of the successful and that is being at the right place, at the right time, having the right background, having the right mix of talents and being prepared to work hard with those talents.

This book is a series of anecdotal articles on success with some interesting insights. It is not a rigorous analysis and it has not found a new Law of Success.

If you are a young little league Canadian hockey player and you are good at the game make sure that your birthday comes just after the cut-off point of the annual selection date. That way you will be one of the oldest in the next year's selection. If you are a talented musician, work very very hard at your craft. If you were a New York lawyer make sure that you graduate when the type of business skills required is changing so that you can get in before the old established firms have time to come to terms with the new world. If you are interested in computer programming be of an age when mainframes make way for time-sharing machines so that you can get direct, un-mediated experience. If you are going to be clever, do not have an IQ off the scale but just a very good one and balance it with a good emotional; and social intelligence.

Halfway through the book the author says: "Can we learn something about why people succeed and how to make people better at what they do by taking cultural legacies seriously?
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Series of remarkably unremarkable observations 4 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback
Once I've started a book I don't like to stop short of finishing it but this one required real perseverance to get through.
To be fair, the first two chapters contained the vaguely interesting observations that hockey players born just after the January 1 cutoff day fared better, and the '10,000 hour rule'. However, there is nothing of note which isn't contained in the amazon description. He just sort of rams the point home over and over, with painstakingly laborious examples. In fact, I've literally told you everything you need to know about the book. Well, that and the fact the the Beatles spent some time playing all-nighters in Hamburg before they got big.

The rest of the book is filled with massive (though, in fairness, not entirely unjustified) cultural stereotypes (Jews are hard working, East Asians are better at maths etc). He prunes and frames his examples so they tenuously fit his overly neat and simplistic conclusions - ah, so all plane crashes are due to pilots coming from countries with a low 'power distance index' (throughout the book, you will find Gladwell over complicates things by using terms like this for otherwise simple ideas), are they? great. Why don't we just save ourselves the bother and hire Gladwell to run our airline safety programs?

Most of the conclusions which he draws are mind-numbingly boring and obvious from the start of the (unnecessarily long and convoluted) chapters. Right, so you mean that the more you practice, the more likely you are to succeed? I never would have guessed. And poor people living in poverty have to work harder to earn a wage? crazy stuff Malcolm... What's next? Black people have darker skin? Chinese people come from China?
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61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Read 28 Dec 2008
By NeilC VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
I'm a fan of Malcolm Gladwell having read his previous Blink and The Tipping Point. All his books are about interesting topics and are told in a way that keeps the reader engaged. Similarly to the other books the criticism can always be made that he makes about 4-5 valid points and stretches them out to a full book but when the writing is engaging and takes you on a journey it doesn't really matter.

The book itself takes you through what drives success. Arguing that it's a combination of intelligence (both IQ and emotional intelligence), luck (opportunties and timing), cultural context and hard work (the much-reported 10,000 hours). All this could be argued to be fairly obvious but through the examples and anecdotes Gladwell dispelled many myths at the same time as entertaining.

All-in-all a good read.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very pretty. But, can it fight? 7 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
Perhaps the main problem with the book is its use of the word 'outliers' to refer to exceptional people, individuals who achieve so much more than others. It should instead refer to the exceptional circumstances that allowed them their meteoric rise to success. These factors - such as year and era of birth, family background, race and place of education - contain the quirks of fate that allow the merely talented to achieve the successes that lie so far outside the norm. This is Gladwell's major thesis.

Gladwell's target is the traditional American story of success: rugged individuals, by dint of hard work and raw talent - perspiration and inspiration - achieve those magnificent success levels that elude others. Instead, Gladwell wants to show the place of circumstances and situation in this story. He wants to give success a context beyond that of one man and his willpower. Fair enough.

In order to do this, Gladwell tells some stories of his own. Lots of them, in fact. The book is one, big collection of counter-cultural stories about the nature of specifically American success. By 'counter-cultural' I mean contrary to the 'rugged individual' myth described above. This story-method is Gladwell's greatest strength or weakness, depending of what you're looking for. Me, I wanted to read something fascinating, provocative, and launch-pad like. That's exactly what I got.

Most of Gladwell's detractors find his method of extreme induction - "Here's one case so that means there's a pattern" - infuriating. I find in fun. When I read a Gladwell book, I'm not on the lookout for rigorous sampling methods or objective self-criticism. Let's leave that to university textbooks, can't we? Gladwell does pop journalism with ideas and trends.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read though, I wasn't bored....
Liked this a lot, but then I'm a chronic underachiever so I probably would.
Published 2 days ago by androo235
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Gladwell book
Best Gladwell book, this book made me bought 3 others from the same authors, disappointing compare to this one ! It changed the way I think (a bit)
Published 2 days ago by lolita
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent product and service
Published 8 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Useful book. A lot of things to learn from this book.
Published 11 days ago by Khondoker Fahad Hasan
5.0 out of 5 stars Outliers
Brilliant explanation of how luck and hard work are intertwined in how a person or people become successful and also how some smart people don't!
Published 12 days ago by Davy Dunne
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very interesting reading:-)
Published 13 days ago by Tor Helmik Raaheim-Olsen
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating reading
The first half of Outliers is a fascinating read - the author evaluates why certain people are successful. Read more
Published 20 days ago by K. Nixon
5.0 out of 5 stars food for thought
Great read! Thought provoking.
Recommend to anyone who likes to think a little differently and challenge social norms and status quo.
Published 21 days ago by Lorraine
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really good
Published 1 month ago by c m todd
2.0 out of 5 stars Over-hyped Book with a Lack of Convincing Conclusions
To be honest, I still don't get the point of this book. Chapter after chapter, the same statement is made, that success in life is more to do with where you come from than with... Read more
Published 1 month ago by D. Haven
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