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"The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life," writes Malcolm Gladwell, "is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviours spread just like viruses do." Although anyone familiar with the theory of mimetics will recognise this concept, Gladwell's The Tipping Point has quite a few interesting twists on the subject.
For example, Paul Revere was able to galvanise the forces of resistance so effectively in part because he was what Gladwell calls a "Connector": he knew just about everybody, particularly the revolutionary leaders in each of the towns that he rode through. But Revere "wasn't just the man with the biggest Rolodex in colonial Boston", he was also a "Maven" who gathered extensive information about the British. He knew what was going on and he knew exactly whom to tell. The phenomenon continues to this day--think of how often you've received information in an e-mail message that had been forwarded at least half a dozen times before reaching you.
Gladwell develops these and other concepts (such as the "stickiness" of ideas or the effect of population size on information dispersal) through simple, clear explanations and entertainingly illustrative anecdotes, such as comparing the pedagogical methods of Sesame Street and Blue's Clues, or explaining why it would be even easier to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with the actor Rod Steiger. Although some readers may find the transitional passages between chapters hold their hands a little too tightly, and Gladwell's closing invocation of the possibilities of social engineering sketchy, even chilling, The Tipping Point is one of the most effective books on science for a general audience in ages. It seems inevitable that "tipping point", like "future shock" or "chaos theory," will soon become one of those ideas that everybody knows--or at least knows by name. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gladwell argues that many contemporary problems - from crime to teenage delinquency and traffic jams - behave like epidemics that are capable of sudden and dramatic changes in direction. Yet the right intervention at just the right time - the Tipping Point - can start a cascade of change and provide a method for developing strategies for everything from raising a child to running a company.See all Product Description
Read this after hearing all the hype and unfortunately, they hype has oversold it. Maybe it isn't a bad book, but the hype has really hurt it in my opinion. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Benjo
As there are a number of reviews I'll keep this short. It is a very interesting book and it would be good if the author produced a revised version of this book detailing his views... Read morePublished 1 month ago by dustspeck
A thought-provoking read beyond the surface of real life social events. Social dynamic observations of why Hush Puppies suddenly became trendy and how Kitty Genovese was murdered... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tee
Only part way through, but so far, very interesting. Good buy.Published 2 months ago by MRS JEAN THOMPSON
Lots of negative comments written about this book but, fact is, it is a good read with explanations of factors in tipping points, different character types and their interaction... Read morePublished 3 months ago by VW
This book is all about how social phenomena can suddenly and unexpectedly 'tip' - how products can suddenly become popular, how crime can dramatically fall, how information can... Read morePublished 3 months ago by David pickersgill