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David and Goliath Paperback – 8 May 2014

4.1 out of 5 stars 210 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Hachette USA (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316285250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316285254
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.2 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,862,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for Outliers

"In the vast world of nonfiction writing, Malcolm Gladwell is as close to a singular talent as exists today..."Outliers" is a pleasure to read and leaves you mulling over its inventive theories for days afterward."-- New York Times Book Review "David Leonhardt "

"The explosively entertaining "Outliers" might be Gladwell's best and most useful work yet...There are both brilliant yarns and life lessons here: "Outliers "is riveting science, self-help, and entertainment, all in one book."-- Entertainment Weekly "Gregory Kirschling "

"No other book I read this year combines such a distinctive prose style with truly thought-provoking content. Gladwell writes with a high degree of dazzle but at the same time remains as clear and direct as even Strunk or White could hope for."-- Atlanta Journal Constitution

"[An] important new book...Gladwell intelligently captures a larger tendency of thought-the growing appreciation of the power of cultural patterns, social contagions, memes...Gladwell's social determinism is a useful corrective to the Homo economicus view of human nature."-- New York Times "David Brooks "

"Thought-provoking, entertaining, and irresistibly debatable...["Outliers"] is another winner from this agile social observer."-- Christian Science Monitor "Heller McAlpin "

"In "Outliers", Gladwell ("The Tipping Point") once again proves masterful in a genre he essentially pioneered-the book that illuminates secret patterns behind everyday phenomena."-- Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Tipping Point

"A fascinating book that makes you see the world in a different way."-- Fortune

"Gladwell's theories could be used to run businesses more effectively, to turn products into runaway bestsellers, and perhaps most important, to alter human behavior."-- New York Times

Praise for Blink

"A real pleasure...Brims with surprising insights about our world and ourselves."--Salon.com

"Intoxicating."Gladwell is an engaging writer and a first-rate tour guide.?-- Los Angeles Times "Thane Rosenbaum "

"BLINK moves quickly through a series of delightful stories?.Always dazzling us with fascinating information and phenomena."-- New York Times Book Review "David Brooks "



Praise for The Tipping Point

"A fascinating book that makes you see the world in a different way."-- Fortune



Praise for Blink

"A real pleasure...Brims with surprising insights about our world and ourselves."--Salon.com

""Outliers" is required reading for boardroom and watercooler crowds alike."-- "Men's Health"

Praise for The Tipping Point

"A fascinating book that makes you see the world in a different way."-- Fortune

Praise for Blink

"A real pleasure...Brims with surprising insights about our world and ourselves."--Salon.com

"Intoxicating. Gladwell is an engaging writer and a first-rate tour guide."-- Los Angeles Times "Thane Rosenbaum "

""Blink" moves quickly through a series of delightful stories. Always dazzling us with fascinating information and phenomena."-- New York Times Book Review "David Brooks "

"Truly intriguing and inspiring, especially when Gladwell discusses 'desirable difficulties'....Gladwell's account of the journey of Dr. Emil 'Jay' Freireich is unforgettable." ---Hector Tobar, "Los Angeles Times"

"Provocative...."David and Goliath "is a lean, consuming read....The book's most crafty, engaging chapter ties together the Impressionist movement and college choices to highlight the fact that gaining admission to elite institutions, which we typically perceive as an advantage, is no guarantee of success." ---John Wilwol, "San Francisco Chronicle "

"As always, Gladwell's sweep is breathtaking and thought-provoking....I've long admired Gladwell's work." ---Joe Nocera, "New York Times"

""David and Goliath "readers will travel with colorful characters who overcame great difficulties and learn fascinating facts about the Battle of Britain, cancer medicine and the struggle for civil rights, to name just a few topics upon which Mr. Gladwell's wide-ranging narrative touches. This is an entertaining book." ---Christopher F. Chabris, "Wall Street Journal "

"Fascinating....Gladwell is a master of synthesis. This perennially bestselling author prides himself on radical re-thinking and urges the rest of us to follow suit." ---Heller McAlpin, "Washington Post"

"What propels the book, like all of Gladwell's writing, is his intoxicating brand of storytelling. He is the master of mixing familiar elements with surprise counter-intuitions, and then seasoning with a sprinkling of scientific evidence....Gladwell is a master craftsman, an outlier amongst authors." ---Rob Brooks, "Huffington Post"

"Gladwell sells books by the millions because he is masterful at explaining how the world works---the power of critical mass, the arbitrariness of success, etc.---packaging his ideas in fun, accessible, and poignant vignettes." ---Lionel Beehner, "USA Today"

"Gladwell's most provocative book yet. "David and Goliath" challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, drawing upon history, psychology, and powerful narrative talent to rethink how we view the world around us and how to deal with the challenges life throws at us." ---Susanne Jaffe, "Columbus Dispatch"

"Gladwell has made a career out of questioning conventional wisdom, and here he examines the allegedly unlikely triumph of the weak over the mighty and shows it's not so unlikely after all. 4 stars." ---Judith Newman, "People Magazine"

"The 50-year-old Canadian is a superstar, the most popular staff writer on "The New Yorker" and a hero in the frequent-flier lounge where journalism, social science, business management, and self-help hang out....It's a good story and he's got plenty more." ---Jeff Baker, "The Oregonian"

"Pop culture pundit Malcolm Gladwell is an idea blender, mixing concepts from vastly different sources (everything from business to science to the Bible) to produce new ways of seeing the world." ---Barbara O'Dair, "Reader's Digest"

"Engrossing.... Gladwell's singular gift is animating the experience of his subjects. He has an uncanny ability to simplify without being simplistic: clean and vivid Strunk and White prose in the service of peerless storytelling." ---David Takami, "Seattle Times"

"In "David and Goliath", Malcolm Gladwell explores the dynamics that inform and effect our everyday lives. By analyzing the Biblical account of the clash between David and Goliath, Gladwell presents a bold new interpretation of the lessons we should apply from it." ---"Today Show"

"The bestselling author behind the inventive "Outliers," "Blink," and "The Tipping Point" is back with another thought provoking theory that fascinates, entertains, and informs. He gives underdogs their due this time, challenging everything readers believe about facing-and conquering-life's stumbling blocks, using the 'real' story of David and Goliath and more to make his point." ---Celeste Williams, "Fort Worth Star-Telegram"

"Contemporary society can't escape history when Malcolm Gladwell explains the world as he does with "David and Goliath.""---Jane Henderson, "St. Louis Post-Dispatch"

"In "David and Goliath," Malcolm Gladwell explores the dynamics that inform and effect our everyday lives. By analyzing the Biblical account of the clash between David and Goliath, Gladwell presents a bold new interpretation of the lessons we should apply from it." ---"Today Show" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer at "The" "New Yorker "since 1996. He is the author of "The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, " and "What the Dog Saw. "Prior to joining "The New Yorker, "he was a reporter at the "Washington Post. "Gladwell was born in England and grew up in rural Ontario. He now lives in New York. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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 scientific hell set aside for those who build their theses from anecdotes and artfully chosen evidence. However, people love anecdotes and when skilfully done it can bamboozle the critical faculties of the audience like a well rehearsed magic trick. The problem is, in David and Goliath, the patter seems a bit more forced, Gladwell fluffs the shuffle and we can, quite clearly, see a dove's head poking out of his sleeve and cooing insistently.

The anecdotes drag out a bit too long, to the extent that you start to wonder not only what the point is, but whether there's a point at all. Sometimes the point is separated so distantly from the anecdote that a quick flick back through the book is necessary. When that happens, the author has lost control and the effect falls to pieces. Gladwell relies so heavily on effect rather than a coherent argument that if we don't buy into it completely, we don't buy into it at all.

That's not to say that there's nothing in the book worth reading. There are some excellent paradoxical nuggets of insight and he still has a knack for taking something familiar - like the story of David and Goliath, which opens the book - and giving you a whole new way of looking at it. He also has a collection of stories about people that are fascinating in their own right.

So, yes, there are high points scattered through the book, but the whole seems half finished as if he didn't have the time to properly gather his thoughts together before committing them to the printer.
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Format: Hardcover
There is no doubt that Gladwell is an entertaining writer and parts of this book are fun to read. However, as with "Tipping Point" I got half way through and thought this is repeating the same fairly obvious point again and again. I was also put off by his very one sided account of the early days of the Northern Ireland troubles. Some of what he says is true, some statements are sweeping without a shred of evidence, and the whole piece needs to be put into a proper historical context - otherwise it could be misleading, particularly to an American audience.
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Format: Hardcover
I love reading Malcolm Gladwell books. He's an incredibly compelling writer, and this book is no different. It's an interesting and thought-provoking book. However, as with some of his previous writings, it completely lacks the rigour to be taken seriously. In virtually every chapter he states a non-obvious point, but then tells a single, non-representative story to back it up. Which is great for helping you understand what he's saying, but certainly not enough if you're thinking critically to believe it.
Overall, if you're looking for a fun read buy this book, but if you're looking to learn the "art of battling giants", this isn't going to do it. And since that's part of the title, this book only earns 2-stars.
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Format: Paperback
I could forgive Gladwell his sweeping generalisations, backed up in some cases by no evidence whatsoever, up until the chapter about the conflict in Northern Ireland. I was appalled to see a respected writer give such a one sided and misleading account of a very complex and destructive situation (on BOTH sides!). Either his research was seriously flawed or he chose to ignore the more inconvenient facts in order, ironically, to legitimise his theory about legitimacy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the third book I read by Gladwell. The first few chapters were really interesting and moving. But when he started talking about Belfast and France in the Second World War, the examples don't prove anything. Sorry only 3 stars .
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Format: Hardcover
I have read and reviewed all of Malcolm Gladwell's previous books and consider him to be among the most talented and energetic of journalists, with most of his work featured in The New Yorker. He also has superb storyteller skills. His "discoveries" tend to be well-known to those knowledgeable about the given subject. In The Tipping Point, for example, he discusses a phenomenon previous characterized by Michael Kami as a "trigger point" and later by Andrew Grove as an "inflection point." Or consider "the secret of success" that he discusses in The Outliers. For decades, Anders Ericsson and his associates at Florida State University have been conducting research on peak performance. He duly acknowledges sources such as Ericsson and should be praised for attracting greater attention to the subjects he discusses. That is Gladwell's great value.

However, in his latest book, David and Goliath, he demonstrates faulty reasoning, such as what Christopher Chabris characterizes as "the fallacy of the unexamined premise." He also has problems with causal relationships and this is not the first time that Gladwell confuses "because" with "despite." For example, consider his assertion that attorney David Boies's great success is largely explained by the fact that he is dyslexic. Overcoming learning disabilities may have been - for Boies as well as countless others -- what Warren Bennis and David Thomas characterize as a "crucible" that strengthens and enlightens those who emerge from it.

In this context, I am reminded of the fact that one of the world's most renowned authorities on ADHD, Edward ("Ned") Hallowell, is an author of countless books and articles on the subject, a child and adult psychiatrist, and a New York Times bestselling author.
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