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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To rethink about the nature of terms advantages and disadvantages
“David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell is not only what its name is suggesting - the book about how small can beat big, those that are considered to be less capable those who are the stars – but also a book that convinces the reader that there are no unbridgeable obstacles, and strange nature of our advantages and disadvantages that can easily become...
Published 11 months ago by Denis Vukosav

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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't quite pull it off
Gladwell has a formula: he picks a grand thesis - in this case that what are ordinarily perceived of as disadvantages might not be wholly negative - and then carefully arranges around it anecdotes of such simple humanity that one is forced, between dabbing the tears away and spontaneous rounds of applause, to swallow the damn thing whole.

There's a circle of...
Published 7 months ago by boggisbitesvampires


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5.0 out of 5 stars it makes you think, 5 Oct 2014
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It explains some things that I could not understand about persecution and disabilities. It has given me a new view of law and order. This is Malcolm Gladwell's best book yet. It has inspired me!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fast Reading Options Trader, 18 May 2014
This is an interesting book with detailed stories to illustrate the arguments. However, when the story is presented with a level of checkable detail and turns out to be absurd, that undermines the argument and the credibility of what remains. Gary Cohn (now head of Goldman Sachs) tells the story of how he came into trading. He gets into a taxi in the Friday rush hour with a trader who is setting up an options trading division. Cohn pretends to be the expert and comes in on Monday morning to get the job. He spends the weekend reading The MacMillan 'Options as a strategic investment' book. Gladwell tells us that he works through it one word at a time, repeating sentences until he understands them. He then tells us that Cohn would take 6 hours to read the 22 page chapter we are reading. So, assume he went bought the book on the way home he will have had max 6 hours on the Friday. Assume he was in at 0900 on Monday. Plus the 48 hours for the weekend makes 63 hours. 63 divided by 6 makes 10.5 lots of 22 pages which is 231 pages. The trouble is that the current edition of the MacMillan is 1048 pages. So, with no knowledge he was able to choose the correct 22% of the book that he needed? And that required that he read continuously, which is extremely hard for dyslexics. As with all good arguments, the devil can be found in the detail and Gladwell skates over the surface, which is often a fascinating place to start, but we cannot trust that it won't unravel if we just knew a little more.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming with very few new insights, 8 Nov 2014
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This book didn't have as many insights as a Malcolm Gladwell book normally has. Some of the insights didn't offer anything new or different, and overally I felt underwhelmed with this.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting research, 16 Nov 2014
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As always, an interesting book from Gladwell - not as much as an easy read as Blink, but I may be biased as that was my favourite from his list.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Quite ghastly., 11 May 2014
By 
Lola (London) - See all my reviews
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I have been into the non-fiction books recently (the best being Flash Boys and Ouch!: Ignorance is Bliss, Except when It Hurts- What You Don't Know About Money and Why It Matters (More Than You Think)), and I picked up "David and Goliath" from my local library - I remember sometime ago this books created quite a hype and divided the readers into the ones who praised it and the ones who called it flawed. I am afraid I am with the latter group. And I am not even talking about [what I thought] was quite disrespectful tone Malcolm Gladwell uses when he writes about Martin Luther King or conflicts in Northern Ireland. Throughout the book the author is more interested in amusing himself with rhymes than providing some research (yes, there is a section at the end of the book with various reference provided, but yet again, the citations are jammed with Mr Gladwell's own comments and thoughts.

Just a couple of examples that come to mind:

It all starts right in the Introduction, where Malcolm Gladwell informs his readers that "what medical experts now believe, in fact, that Goliath had a serious medical condition". "Medical experts" - who? "Believe" - that comes from the well-researched book of the New Yorker journalist? "Goliath had a serious medical condition" - Goliath, that giant from the Bible, a fictional kight.

The chapter on basketball was simply boring. And how many times one can use the word "awesome" before the word processor stars to underline is as a questionable repetition?

Oh, and my "favourite" contradiction is about dyslexia. In one chapter Gladwell is all up for it and praises the condition, persuading us to wish our children had it. A few chapters into the book, he claims that "there are a remarkable number of dyslexics in prison" etc. Suddenly, dyspexia is not so desirable, and a few people who made it to the top despite the condition are happy exceptions,rather than rules of people suffering from dyslexia.

All in all, I thought the book was rather weak, appallingly researched, generalising, and ridiculous (if not hazardous) on account of its slapdash credibility. It jumps from one subject to the other and back and is quite ghastly. In the end, I did not feel his theory on underdogs was plausible at all. I did not like it and I am not planning to read more of Malcolm Gladwell in the future.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Food for Thought - But Don't Drink all the Kool-Aid, 12 Dec 2013
By 
S Clark (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I like the Malcolm Gladwell books - he is one of the great "new" thinkers of our time and his books are always interesting - I have read them all - they are very well written and easy to read. Unlike his other books, Outliers for example, where the repetitive examples to illustrate his point were interesting, poignant and factual, this book lacked a little substance and made a few too many sweeping assumptions/generalisations.

Most of the examples used seemed believable enough, however I didn't really like the inclusion of the war in Ireland example - to make claims about how the war in Ireland would have gone had the British army realised the "David and goliath theory", hugely over simplifies what was (and still is) a complex socio-religious situation on a confined island. The book could have perhaps tried to apply itself to a current situation to show how that "should" turn out if the point he is making stands true.

His weakest book so far - but still worth reading and should provide some good food for thought.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The world of the underdog., 10 Nov 2013
By 
Vivek Tejuja "vivekian" (mumbai, maharashtra, india) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Who are the underdogs? What makes them underdogs? Are they weak or is it just another perception of people who cannot understand some things and therefore, love to label them to their convenience? Perhaps the concept of the underdog has been grossly misunderstood. Perhaps it needs to be relooked given how some of them have fought battles and won against giants, with may be limited resources. Is it always the case though? Do underdogs win all the time? Did David win against Goliath by mere chance or did he have some clear advantages, which the giant did not? With this premise in mind, Malcolm Gladwell's new book, "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants" is all about this principle, presented with facts and approaches it with a range of examples of the number of Davids and their struggle to get ahead.

I had read one book written by Gladwell before reading his latest work. I was hesitant - also because I had heard that the book was not that great. However, I took my chance and read it, finished it in a span of a day and a half and thoroughly enjoyed it. The book hooks you on from Page 1 and then there is no letting go. I think to a large extent the book connects with you, because we all feel that we have been or are underdogs at one point or the other. So you not only end up reading the book for what it is, but also silently cheering for the misfit to make it big.

The book is divided into three sections - the first one is about how advantages are sometimes disadvantages and vice-versa. Things are never what they seem and one always has to look for different alternatives to rise above. From a novice basketball coach to the number of children in one classroom in the schools of America and across the world to the most interesting theory of "Big Fish in a Small Pond and Small Fish in a Big Pond", this section is my most favourite in the entire book. The second section is about weaknesses and how desirable they can be given how many people succeeded with them. Handicaps need not always be handicaps. The third and final section of the book is about the limits of power and how it does not always be everything, given any context or situation.

"David and Goliath" is not only an insightful read, but also at some level it does become a personal read, right from the first to the last section. You tend to relate to situations and anecdotes and I found myself nodding in affirmation to most of them. The book is a light read. The statistics do not flummox the reader, which is very good, given the nature of the book. "David & Goliath" is the kind of book that will make you contemplate situations around you and probably reassess them - mostly with respect to the so-called "misfits and underdogs".
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4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable but tough too get through, 25 Oct 2014
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No a good as tipping point or blink. Well thought through, but lacking in a conclusion, for me at least.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, 12 Oct 2014
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Excellent. Good story telling. Rattles along at a great pace. Some good ideas. Recommended!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beating Big Business at their own game!, 6 Aug 2014
By 
Mrs. Simone B. Nelson "Simone Nelson" (Loving living in Geordie Land!) - See all my reviews
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I am not prepared to be pushed around by big business and this confirms how to do so
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