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Outliers: The Story of Success [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Malcolm Gladwell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Nov 2008

From the bestselling author of Blink and The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success overturns conventional wisdom about genius to show us what makes an ordinary person an extreme overachiever.

Why do some people achieve so much more than others? Can they lie so far out of the ordinary?

In this provocative and inspiring book, Malcolm Gladwell looks at everyone from rock stars to professional athletes, software billionaires to scientific geniuses, to show that the story of success is far more surprising, and far more fascinating, than we could ever have imagined.

He reveals that it's as much about where we're from and what we do, as who we are - and that no one, not even a genius, ever makes it alone.

Outliers will change the way you think about your own life story, and about what makes us all unique.

'Gladwell is not only a brilliant storyteller; he can see what those stories tell us, the lessons they contain'
  Guardian

'Malcolm Gladwell is a global phenomenon ... he has a genius for making everything he writes seem like an impossible adventure'
  Observer

'He is the best kind of writer - the kind who makes you feel like you're a genius, rather than he's a genius'
  The Times

Author, journalist, cultural commentator and intellectual adventurer, Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine. His first book The Tipping Point captured the world's attention with its theory that a curiously small change can have unforeseen effects. His other international bestselling books are Outliers, which looks at the stories of exceptional individuals and reveals the secrets of their success, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking and What The Dog Saw, a collection of his most provocative and entertaining New Yorker pieces.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Lrg edition (18 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031602497X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316024976
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 11.3 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,816,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

Review

You will never again think as you did before about [success] ... This book deserves the gold star that adorns its front cover (The Times)

Malcolm Gladwell is a cerebral and jaunty writer, with an unusual gift for making the complex seem simple (Observer)

Makes geniuses look a bit less special, and the rest of us a bit more so (Time)

Gladwell deploys a wealth of fascinating data and information to illustrate his thesis ... Outliers challenges accepted wisdom (FT) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

'Gladwell deploys a wealth of fascinating data and information to illustrate his thesis ... Outliers challenges accepted wisdom.' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy, but don't plan your life on it 10 July 2013
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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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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45 of 50 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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464 of 526 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Outlandish 17 Dec 2008
Format:Hardcover
A criticism common to both Malcolm Gladwell's previous books, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking and The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, was that while they were packed with interesting, well told, anecdotes there was no consistent underlying theme to the stories; no particular lesson to be drawn. For example, of the many anecdotes recounted about "thin slicing" some (such as an art expert's ability to instantly assess the bona fides of a statue) suggested it was a special and important skill while others (an impulsive police decision to pursue and shoot dead a innocent bystander) suggested quite the opposite. You were left with the impression that, well, there are these things called snap judgements, and sometimes they work out, and sometimes they don't.

Clearly Malcolm Gladwell has taken those reservations to heart: in Outliers he has been scrupulous to sketch out an integrated underlying thesis and then (for the most part) array his anecdotes - which, as usual, are interesting enough - in support of it.

Unfortunately for him, the theory is a lemon. Nonetheless, the flyleaf is hubristic (and unimaginative) enough to claim "This book really will change the way you think about your life". It's not done that for me, but it has changed the way I think about Malcolm Gladwell's writing. And not for the better.

Gladwell has looked at some psychological research into success and genius and has concluded that, contrary to conventional wisdom, success isn't to be explained by raw talent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Soooo interesting. Hard to put down really !!
Published 3 days ago by lilfog8
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book full of inspiring or conversely deflating stories, depending on your month of birth, and so on
Published 7 days ago by Simon James Ambrose
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I'm such a Bloody Failure!
Interesting ideas which make you think and make sense. Now i know why I'll never be successful at anything but i can sleep at night knowing it's out of my hands!
Published 10 days ago by Maureen A Molloy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
This was an interesting book, that grabbed me from the first line. Gladwell provides logical reasoning and sense behind his "theory / arguments". Read more
Published 10 days ago by Mr DJ Mattingley
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Still to read but recommended by a reliable frind.
Published 15 days ago by Mrs. Leora Shalom
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not too
Good but not up there with 'sporting gene' or 'bounce' but still a good read
Published 18 days ago by lookalikey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great item
Published 26 days ago by Zaid
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book
I am really enjoying this book and realise now that I have never been in the right place at the right time so can now relax about my perceived inadequacies!!!
Published 1 month ago by Scott Fitzgerald Lover
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting enough but certainly no revelation
Basically, this book *reveals* that people don't gain success through talent and hard work alone; rather they have other, often hidden, advantages. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J C Mitchinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, thought provoking read
Well written, well, researched book. It makes sense on so many levels, wish it could be implemented by the state.
Published 1 month ago by Mickey Olivier
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