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The Corruption of Malcolm Gladwell by [Levine, Yasha]
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The Corruption of Malcolm Gladwell Kindle Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 70 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 286 KB
  • Print Length: 70 pages
  • Publisher: S.H.A.M.E. BOOKS (9 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008VOJGE8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #355,469 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I managed to read this book about 40% through, it wound me up so much i had to put it down and permanently delete it from my kindle. Had the book been about generally researchers and journalists and understanding that when a study is published you need to look at who sponsored that etc this book might have been a good read. Instead every page, every paragraph focused on just how bad Malcolm Gladwell is. It wound me up so much that it made me hate this author and support Gladwell. I also think that many of the arguments the author used to point out Gladwell's "corruption" are totally flawed and i sided with Gladwell on his statements. Got the impression the author couldn't be objective about Gladwell and his theories. I don't want to see this book ever again but I am looking forward to the next Gladwell book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An enlightening and fierce look at Malcolm Gladwell's links to far-right think-tanks, things I had never suspected at all. If you like Malcolm Gladwell, you owe it to yourself to know all of this about him.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A convincing account of Gladwell's many conflicts of interest, and the author's lame-to-non-existent disclosure of them.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8d3dced0) out of 5 stars 30 reviews
286 of 321 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d400930) out of 5 stars Absolute drivel 19 Jan. 2013
By Discerning reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I read the chapter about the tobacco industry and Malcolm Gladwell's emails and decided that I was not going to waste my time reading any more. Before I start, I'm not a conservative by any stretch and I sympathise entirely with the author's views on the tobacco industry and media lies, but I would consider this writer to be as guilty of propaganda as the next journalist.

His arguments for Gladwell's 'corruption' are thin and barely supported by evidence at all. Gladwell's books are not, after all, 'about' the tobacco industry or Big Pharma, they are about the way in which human societies operate that is sometimes outside our expectations. For example, in this book the author attempts to criticise Gladwell's assertion in his book that smokers don't smoke because it's cool, they smoke because smokers are cool (they deliberately choose something they know is 'forbidden' as teenagers). Of course the tobacco industry deliberately marketing to teenagers is abhorrent, it has been done particularly opaquely in India recently, but that isn't Gladwell's fault. And his statement does stand up quite well when you remove marketing from the equation; in the UK advertising by tobacco companies of any kind has been forbidden for a couple of decades and all packs have carried prominent warnings for 15+ years (think half the front of the pack covered by it) and yet teenagers still smoke. They still sneak off to do it. Just like Gladwell discusses in his book. He cites evidence from studies to support it: something this author could learn from.

The author criticises Gladwell for saying that lawsuits against tobacco companies are absurd. They are. No tobacco company ever forced someone to buy a pack of cigarettes, the health risks have been well documented for 30+ years and just because a jury or court upholds a lawsuit doesn't mean someone is not allowed an opinion that thinks otherwise. Many examples of people seeking to blame others for their own poor choices are easy to find.

Also, Gladwell's criticism of the comparison of the tobacco industries to Hitler's Holocaust is entirely legitimate. It IS offensive to compare the deaths of people who have chosen to smoke, knowing the risks to their health, no matter how devastating the number, to people who were forcibly removed from their homes and transported to death camps where they were gassed and their bodies thrown naked in mass graves. It belittles the suffering of those people and their families to make such comparisons. Smoking is a choice, there is lots of support out there if you want to quit, most smokers don't want to. Or don't want to enough. You could petition your government to make smoking illegal, but I suspect that wouldn't be very popular either, and until it is illegal, the tobacco companies are just doing that very American thing - selling what people want to buy. Accept it.

And finally, the real reason why I think this book deserves to be put down unfinished, the frailty of the arguments against Gladwell are so obvious because most of the chapter on the tobacco industry vilifies people that Gladwell's name was written on the same page as in a tobacco company's document. Or the several pages tearing apart Reagan's position on the tobacco industry, who Gladwell was apparently a fan of. Newsflash: quite a lot of people thought Reagan was pretty good - they elected the guy - it doesn't mean they supported everything he stood for, nor does it make them culpable for his deficiencies. To argue that Gladwell is corrupt because he reported in what appears to me to be a fairly balanced way on a study done by someone else and that that report was seen as positive by the tobacco industry is such a loose argument it doesn't even deserve consideration as a genuine piece of investigative journalism. The author goes on and on about a history of supportive articles but cites only one that wasn't even supportive. Absolute drivel. What he is saying is not far removed from this: a mass murderer writes a list that says he really admires Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot and Bruce Willis, therefore Bruce Willis is an evil man who supports mass murder.

The one genuinely questionable aspect of Gladwell's work is that he does speak at events for companies that the author clearly feels, and I don't entirely disagree, are immoral and should not be supported. However, as I said at the beginning of this review, Gladwell does not set himself up as an anti-smoking, anti-big business, anti-capitalist author or journalist. His books are not about tearing down the establishment. It seems to me a stretch to suggest that these engagements amount to a conflict of interest. He is entitled to hold views at the other end of the political spectrum to the author of this book, isn't he? He doesn't do the events in secret. The author hasn't presented any evidence that suggests that Gladwell is publishing vast numbers of articles all with a positive spin on these industries, though he tries to. It seems to me that Gladwell, like every other journalist, covers a story with perhaps an element of bias but without stooping to outright lies. I might not agree with Gladwell's politics, but I think to write a book with a title such as this is akin to a witch hunt. I for one found Gladwell's books fascinating, as do many people I know, and I work in education not big business! I have often used information I have gleaned from Outliers and Tipping Point to inform the way I go about my work. I haven't as a result changed my views, which are entirely negative, about Big Pharma, the tobacco industry or big business in general, so if it is propaganda, it's not very good!

Please don't buy this book. It is one author's poorly supported tirade against a man who, when given a chance to defend himself could not have said the right thing for this guy. He was asked to reveal private financial information, which is frankly none of the author's business and when he didn't was accused of being deceptive. He addressed one of the arguments against him but he really was talking to a brick wall so he stopped replying. Funny that.

Poor journalism. Hysterical writing. Deliberately misleading arguments that put the blame for a lot of people's wrongs on the shoulders of one of unproven guilt. Absolute drivel.
65 of 76 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d400984) out of 5 stars Not balanced 24 Oct. 2013
By Dane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I ran across Yasha's website and commented to him about the double standard: That basically he's not holding himself to the same standard of ethics, balance, accountability he wants to hold Gladwell to. Yasha is making money off of damaging Gladwell's well-earned reputation precisely because Gladwell has earned it. Yasha's writing is poor so he would never get a best-selling book at that level that would contribute enough value to become famous directly so he's piggy-backing on Gladwell's fame by trashing him. Gladwell actually wrote to Yasha, amazingly, and made some good points. But will Yasha respond to my e-mail? That would be fair and balanced. Instead he prefers to rant about how Gladwell doesn't live up to his arbitrary standards.

I've found Gladwell's books to be extraordinarily insightful and I'm glad he is around writing. I will always read a Gladwell book before a Levine book because it is certain to be more insightful and interesting, which I suspect is what's really driving Levine to devote his life to trashing other people's perceived imperfections rather than aiming to contribute something useful to the world. The latter is more challenging and more rewarding.
62 of 74 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d400dbc) out of 5 stars Highly charged personal attack 18 Feb. 2013
By amprof8 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Writer has an openly hostile view of Gladwell's career, and unfortunately didn't have a competent editor or well-meaning reader to help him make the case without vitriol. Repetitive and only modestly informative.
59 of 75 people found the following review helpful
By Grace Ascuasiati - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really like Gladwell's books and I wanted a perspective that would help me be more objective on this perception. Instead I found a dramatic view of Gladwell's biography and a dull critic of this political preferences. Wouldn't recommend it.
27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d404150) out of 5 stars Waste of time, if he has anything to say it's lost in amateur writing 28 Oct. 2013
By Scott Burns - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I got about ten pages in but man, nothing but vitriol. Less heat, more light, and while we're at it the straw man thing is pretty familiar to everyone at this point.
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