- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Allen Lane (3 Oct. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1846145813
- ISBN-13: 978-1846145810
- Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3.2 x 22.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants Hardcover – 3 Oct 2013
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When you read it, you feel like you can topple giants (Jon Ronson)
I devoured it in a single reading, being a Gladwell addict for many years (Richard E. Grant)
His most accessible book ... A Scheherazade for our time, talking to keep us going and make us think (Gaby Wood Daily Telegraph)
His best yet ... intoxicating, powerful ... more socially and morally engaged than his previous work (Oliver Burkeman Guardian)
A pleasure (Tim Adams Observer)
Lovely ... as with most of Gladwell's books he had me at hello - the initial thesis is simply irresistible (Leah McLaren Globe and Mail)
Truly intriguing and inspiring ... unforgettable (Hector Tobar Los Angeles Times)
As always, Gladwell's sweep is breathtaking and thought-provoking ... I've long admired Gladwell's work (Joe Nocera The New York Times)
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)
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)
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)
Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath, an energetic, counterintuitive exploration of why (and how) underdogs succeed, and how disabilities, traumatic childhoods, and other seeming lacks can sometimes trump power (Guardian, Books of the Year 2013)
From the Inside Flap
His most enjoyable book so far. It is a feel-good extravaganza, nourishing both heart and mind. Each of its stories...has an ending that is both happy and surprising. What ostensibly unites the stories are the twin ideas that an advantage can sometimes be a disadvantage and that a disadvantage can sometimes be an advantage. Yet there is something more powerful and uplifting that also links them. It is that good beats bad - just when you least expected it. - Financial Time. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
David & Goliath fits that mould perfectly, except that this time the big idea is a little less striking - as the famous story in the title reveals, the basic idea that the underdog can win out is hardly new (even if, as Gladwell argues, the version of David & Goliath we are all used to hearing is flawed).
A fun breezy read to get you thinking, rather than a detailed case built on evidence.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent read. Gladwell, as always, is able to write a story with various layers. He starts with the obvious or a plain human interest story about class sizes and then scratches... Read morePublished 4 months ago by John
The whole David and Goliath theme is contrived and laboured. It was interesting to find out that David really had all the advantages over Goliath, but the attempts the author makes... Read morePublished 5 months ago by B J Stebbing
Recommended by a teacher. A good book and thought-provoking.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Draws from a wide range of scenarios to make the point. Each chapter is an intriguing story to make the point that all is not always what it seemsPublished 8 months ago by parent
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