- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Allen Lane; First Edition edition (18 Nov. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1846141214
- ISBN-13: 978-1846141218
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.1 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 497 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 383,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Outliers: The Story of Success Hardcover – 18 Nov 2008
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'...this book is an excellent reading experience. It will make you feel happy'
-- William Leith, Evening Standard
'A fizzingly entertaining and enlightening book' -- Harry Ritchie, Daily Mail
'A global phenomenon, one of the most brilliant and influential writers of his generation ... there is, it sometimes seems, no subject over which Gladwell cannot scatter some magic dust ... he has a genius for making everything he writes seem like an impossible adventure' -- Observer
'An exceptionally well-written book ... like a 90,000 word essay by Geroge Orwell, with a bit of help from Jonathan Kellerman ... I wanted to cheer or clap ... Outliers is perhaps the ultimate Gladwell book' -- Evening Standard
'Gladwell deploys a wealth of fascinating data and information to illustrate his thesis ... Outliers challenges accepted wisdom.' -- John Willman, FT
'Gladwell is not only a brilliant storyteller; he can see what those stories tell us, the lessons they contain ... and Gladwell shows that it can be immense fun' -- Guardian
'His inspiring, revelatory attempt to look at the qualities that aren't mentioned enough in a culture of individualism ... he is the best kind of writer - the kind who makes you feel like you're a genius, rather than that he's a genius' -- The Times
'Malcolm Gladwell is a cerebral and jaunty writer, with an unusual gift for making the complex seem simple'
-- Jason Cowley, Observer
'You will never again think as you did before about [success] ... This book deserves the gold star that adorns its front cover.' -- A. C. Grayling, The Times
'Gladwell deploys a wealth of fascinating data and information to illustrate his thesis ... Outliers challenges accepted wisdom.'See all Product description
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Things I liked:
- Interesting to read the stories of how various people came to success
- Well written
- Somewhat vindicating for those of us who already knew the dice were loaded
- How is this a revelation? I felt a bit like this was written for people who are themselves pretty advantaged. If come from a lowly background, with little money or good social connections etc, you KNOW that these things disadvantage you, and you KNOW that those who get ahead, do so because of these advantages.
- There was no follow through. I was expecting (and hoping for) a "but if you don't have these advantages, you can still do X, Y & Z". But there was nothing. So if you aren't advantaged, you end up feeling a bit flat at the end.
Summary: Worth a read
In any case, I definitely recommend it, it makes you at least consider if the way we "select" our elite is at all random; And if we are, in fact, predispositioning some individuals to rise over others by an injust selection process.
I just don't see what the hype about this book is about.
Gladwell explores the real story behind the success of people as diverse as Bill Gates, Bill Joy (Unix, Sun Microsystems), The Beatles, NY Jewish Lawyers and Chinese rice farmers and how their backgrounds, position in the class system, hard work and luck played a major role in their success.
Though I like this book enough to give it four stars, its focus is blurred at times. The title "Outliers" is misleading and not quite on point. The book is largely about luck: what it is, what it isn't, how it affects everyone and the part it has been playing quietly in the history of human success.
However, when you step back and think about it, despite the strength of the individual elements the book as a whole is probably not the game changer it sets out to be.
The stated theme of finding out the 'cause of success' doesnt really get fleshed out. What is essentially being paraded is the idea that success is multi-factorial, depends not just on genius/talent but on luck, timing, circumstance, perseverence.Totally radical! This is repeated often and in sometimes monotonous detail.
The bits about the Ice-Hockey Team and Air Safety are the most interesting ones. But again there is no unifying link. The former looks at a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy in sport selection while the latter is simply assessing performance issues among professionals that would find a better place in a book about management or communications. All in all, a bit disjointed.
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