MALCOLM GLADWELL DAVID AND GOLIATH BOOK
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants is a non- fiction book written by Malcolm Gladwell and published by Little, Brown and. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants [Malcolm Gladwell] on ppti.info Malcolm Gladwell's provocative new #1 bestseller - - now in paperback. Author interviews, book reviews, editors' picks, and more. Malcolm Gladwell, the #1 bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw, offers his most provocativeand dazzlingbook yet.
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Editorial Reviews. From Booklist. *Starred Review* Gladwell's best-sellers, such as The Tipping Malcolm Gladwell, the #1 bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month?. In his #1 bestselling books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell has explored the ways we understand and change our world. Now he looks. Before I read this book, I thought it's about how David, as an underdog, uses his willpower and resilience to win over the battle with Goliath, his strong opponent.
You have to be in really good shape and you have to run yourself ragged, and you cannot let up. Effort is the route available to the underdog. I may not be able to outspend you, but I can outwork you. Anyone who has worked in a start-up knows that's one of the stressful parts of it. Another big theme of the book is that there's such a thing as a "desirable difficulty.
This really interesting notion comes from this husband and wife psychology team at UCLA called the Bjorks. And they started with learning. They were very interested in learning, and the conventional notion with learning is to the extent that I make your task easier, you will learn more. They say, "Well, you know that's true, but there are exceptions. So, I began to explore all these areas where you could distinguish desirable from undesirable difficulties.
Dyslexia would be a classic example. I have a whole chapter in the book about dyslexic entrepreneurs. And if you talk to them, they will explain to you that they don't think they succeeded in spite of their disability. They think they succeeded because of it. You note there are also a disproportionate number of dyslexic people in prison, though. So what needs to happen to make a difficulty desirable? That's the million dollar question. That's the kind of conversation I want to start with this book.
We require a certain level of adversity. The trick is, figuring out what that adversity ought to look like. Gary Cohn at Goldman Sachs is dyslexic, but he probably has an IQ of and had a pretty strong family around him. He can go through a lot of hell in school and still come out okay.
But now imagine someone who didn't have a stratospheric IQ, whose family wasn't supportive, and who had other disadvantages, like they woke up every morning hungry.
Now, it's hard to see that their dyslexia would as easily be a desirable difficulty. One alarming theme of the book for a lot of business owners is that once you reach a certain point of success or a certain point of wealth, it actually can work against you and become a disadvantage. How do you figure?
This was even after the bailout. And he was like, "You know, it probably is too big. You need to make X number of cars a year in order to be an efficient producer. But beyond that, extra size just gets in your way. What GM suffered with in terms of decision making and innovation was that they were on the wrong side of this curve.
What about being a big fish in a little pond? I think a lot of start-ups emphasize this to attract the best talent. How can this position work against you? Our sense of our own self-worth and our own self-confidence is derived from judgments about our peer group. So, if you put someone in a very, very highly competitive pond, they are going to reach very different conclusions about who they are and what they are capable of than if you put them in a less selective pond, a smaller pond.
For instance, your likelihood of dropping out from science and math is not a function of your intelligence, it's a function of the intelligence of those around you.
Some critics say that the examples in the book are ones that specifically back up the thesis of the book. What do you say to that? I think everyone, anyone who's ever made an argument in, since arguments began, has chosen evidence to support their arguments.
So, I would hope I did that. If I chose evidence that didn't support my argument, I'd be writing a very funny kind of book, wouldn't I? I think that's a fancy way of saying that they disagree with things in the book, which is fine.
Why should entrepreneurs read this book? Because this book is fundamentally about the weapons of the spirit. It's about how the things that are in your heart or your soul or your imagination are every bit the equal of the material advantages that you've been given. But directly attacking a dominant narrative generally has little effect indeed, often simply reinforces it. A more effective approach to countering a position with which you disagree, and one that Gladwell is a master of, is to simply tell a better story with a different narrative.
There has been significant research on this area in recent years, particularly with respect to political debate, but there's also a long history of this in theology too, in the battles between heresy and orthodoxy. On the left-hand side of the inverted U-curve, this is a very valuable function. Handled well this approach stimulates thinking and debate and, hopefully, leads to a deeper and more nuanced general understanding of the area. But this relies on arriving at a synthesis of both positions.
The key problem with Gladwell, it seems to me, is that he's simply too good at what he does. He's such a superb story-teller that people read his books and come away convinced of his positions, accepting his narrative as being the complete truth itself, rather than simply as a valuable contribution to a wider debate and understanding. But I'm unconvinced that this is a flaw with his books and columns themselves.
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants
They're doing a very precise thing, and doing it very well. And this one is no exception. It's a delight to read, and raises a lot of very interesting and valuable questions. And those who wish to challenge the answers it offers would do well to learn from the approach, and start telling better stories themselves. View all 4 comments. Now, there is a lot of skepticism about Gladwell and his research methods, but whether he self-selects his data or whatever, I think that the very nature of his writing indicates that his research isn't totally conclusive.
So why bother reading him? Well, Gladwell, whether he's a legitimate social scientist or whatever the term is or not, is a pretty gifted writer. He has a knack for telling stories and presenting dry information, like statistics, in a compelling way. Plus, his theories are alw Now, there is a lot of skepticism about Gladwell and his research methods, but whether he self-selects his data or whatever, I think that the very nature of his writing indicates that his research isn't totally conclusive.
Plus, his theories are always provoking, if not convincing. I like to read Gladwell as more of a short story collector rather than reading his books as though they prove a single theory about humanity and how we live. Taking his chapters in isolation, he uses the form of the case study to advance some interesting ideas and I don't always agree with him.
So if we think of David and Goliath as a collection of case studies that loosely revolve around a particular theme power, the myth of advantage, and the underdog-something Gladwell is particularly obsessed by , several chapter are capable of provoking conversation such as his chapter on class sizes. Using a high school that can have classes as small as 12 kids, Gladwell talks about the "too much of a good thing" danger and succeeds in making us realize that small class sizes are not the golden solution to America's education problem and are not necessarily a good thing It seems to me that in his work there is always this give and take.
He gives you an idea and some evidence to back it up For instance, he takes the founder of the Three Strikes Law and talks about the tragic circumstances that led to the law's genesis. He then talks about the problems of the law, weaves in some stuff about legitimate power and how cracking down harder on criminals is nonsense using Northern Ireland's history and a specific neighborhood in New York.
At this point, I'm totally with it. But then he throws in a story that's meant to parallel Reynold's story-a family in Canada whose daughter is kidnapped and then years later found dead and subsequent investigations lead to the murderer being apprehended- and then talks about how this Canadian family chooses not to use their daughter's case to bring about change of the legal system..
The overall effect is that it leaves the reader kind of confused and adds nothing to this underdog defeating the giant theme.
These kinds of problems occur throughout the entire book and the ending leads one to wonder Added to the fact that much of this book seems to deal with stuff that's way too similar to the ground he covered with Outliers , I'd only recommend this book to teachers looking for excerpts to use to provoke criticality about bias and research or using excerpts to introduce an idea about power, justice, etc.
View all 8 comments. Nov 13, Trevor rated it it was amazing Shelves: This guy writes so well. He draws you in with beautifully crafted stories. Murnane says in one of his books that he regretted having told people that some of his books were works of fiction and some essays. I really believe that creativity is essential for both these writing tasks, and that because real art prefers to hide, there is a good argument to be had in believing that more creativity is asked for in the writing of non-fiction than in fiction.
Not that this guy really hides his artifice. H This guy writes so well. His stories are painstakingly structured and his punches are delivered with such precision that it is hard not to want to applaud even as they slam into the side of your face. And I love that he leads me down the garden path. I wonder how many people will be caught in the depths of their prejudices only to find the tables being turned.
This book was infinitely confronting for me. If I was paranoid then I would have to assume Gladwell had gone out of his way to find every topic I find almost unbearable to think about — that somehow he had written this book as part of a bizarre vendetta against me.
That Gladwell discusses the internment here was and is and will always be like an open wound for me — my childhood consisted of hearing stories of rubber bullets fired into crowds of protestors and spent singing songs about armoured cars and tanks and guns that came to take away our sons, of collective punishments meted out by unfeeling monsters and of whole populations being guilty because they were Irish. And if you want to make me full of an unquenchable fury, then talk of collaborators with the Nazis turning in Jews so they can to be transported to the death camps.
Or of people refusing to buy clothes because a black person may have touched them. And the worst of my nightmares are here too. I am a father of two daughters. This book was written to torture people like me.
Torture us by showing our nightmares made real, lived out in the lives of people we would empathise with, but Gladwell forces from us more than merely our empathy, he places us in their shoes — he has us holding the hands of our own daughters as they lay dying or has us wait months to learn of their slow death by torture.
I let very few writers take me to those places. This book has opened and scattered salt across virtually every wound and every scar, real and imagined, of which my life is constituted.
All the same, read it. View all 12 comments. What an excellent storyteller. I love his mind. I was smiling a lot. These things are fun to think about. Not everything he says is irrefutable fact. Some of his information is anecdotal. But he raises good questions. I think what he says is true, even though opposite or different views may be true. Some topics were a little slow, but I was frequently delighted and fascinated.
The story of David and Goliath Less talented basketball players can win using full cou What an excellent storyteller. The story of David and Goliath Less talented basketball players can win using full court press. The best class size for one teacher was Too small, 9 was bad.
The reason is students had more peers. There was more interaction, dialogue, and energy among the students. A class size of 36 was too large to be good. Two brilliant and talented students got into top colleges: After two years they were so disheartened and disappointed that they switched to less rigorous majors.
The reason is they were surrounded by so many bright minds, they felt average or below average in those fields.
If they had gone to second tier schools, they would have been at the top of their classes and probably not changed majors. Jay Freireich lacked empathy for his patients - children with leukemia.
Therefore, he was willing to experiment with painful and dangerous procedures for these children - things other doctors were unwilling to do. Under the care of empathetic doctors, children died from leukemia. But they were cured by Dr. It is suggested that his lack of empathy was caused by lack of parental nurturing and love when he was a child.
Dyslexics developed abilities that brought them great success. Too much money creates parenting problems. It has the picture of the dog attacking a black man in Alabama which he talked about.
It also has charts and a few references. The author narrated this book. His manner and voice were excellent - soft, easy to listen to, and enthusiastic. Unabridged audiobook reading time: Swearing language: Sexual content: Book copyright View all 10 comments. Aug 03, Diane rated it really liked it Shelves: This is classic Malcolm Gladwell: A bunch of enjoyable and entertaining case studies grouped loosely under a thought-provoking theme.
This time his theory is that being the underdog and having disadvantages can actually be an advantage. The title comes from a biblical story about a giant warrior named Goliath who was slain by David, a shepherd boy who was good with a slingshot. Gladwell analyzes the story and determines that the boy was not, in fact, an underdog, but was actually was a skilled hu This is classic Malcolm Gladwell: Gladwell analyzes the story and determines that the boy was not, in fact, an underdog, but was actually was a skilled hunter, and that Goliath didn't stand a chance against him.
My favorite discussions in the book were about education, including the popular-but-apparently-not-true belief that small class sizes are always better. There were also some good stories about choosing colleges, and students reading this may be surprised to learn that a high-ranking school such as the Ivy League may not always be the best option for your career.
There was also a good discussion about dyslexia, and why having challenges to overcome could actually help motivate you to be more successful. I finished this book a few days ago, and it is already fading fast from my mind, something that always happens to me with Gladwell books. I find his writing pleasant and his ideas interesting, but the details don't always stick. Recommended for those who want to feel like they've learned something, but you don't want to think too hard.
View 1 comment. Sep 30, Andrew rated it liked it. Malcolm Gladwell is one of those authors who you remember reading, but may not quite recall which book a particular phrase came from.
They're all pretty similar. But that's the beauty of Gladwell. He's developing a coherent canon and, really, do you want to be surprised all the time? The world is disconcerting enough already. The title, David and Goliath , tells you exactly what this book is about. It's about the little guy who made good and, even better, who turned his adversities into strengths. In Gladwellian fashion there are illustrative anecdotes - from short basketball players, to orphaned children, to anti-Nazi French villagers - that expand upon the idea of less can be more.
Or following the sometimes Biblical headers in the book: The last shall be first. So why only three stars? Because Gladwell is that sort of author. Pretty predictable, but pretty good at it. And always enjoyable. Follow me on Twitter: View all 3 comments. Sep 24, Caroline rated it liked it Shelves: I'm a Spock sort of person. I believe that everything in the universe is logical. If something appears to be illogical it is simply because our knowledge about it is lacking.
Unlike Spock though I embrace a wider spectrum of what constitutes logic, eg emotions are very important and relevant This book is all about situations that don't look logical on the surface, but if you dig a little deeper you discover the logic. To that extent i I'm a Spock sort of person. To that extent it reminds me slightly of Freakonomics: It looks under the surface of things to discover what is really going on.
Situations where the underdog does well are explored It turns out David was not the underdog he at first appeared to be Obviously a constructive outcome does not apply to everyone who has undergone these obstacles in life, but it does apply to a surprising number of people. Sometimes very poor countries have a higher rating of happiness than richer countries, where there is greater disparity between people. It is not correct to automatically assume that the people in poorer countries are automatically more unhappy.
Though there is a cap on size too. Massive classes aren't helpful either. This applies startlingly to universities. Go to Harvard at your peril. I found the book interesting, but a little 'bitty' lots of short pieces about different things. Some of the situations described interested me more than others, but this is probably only natural.
I'm also not convinced of a philosophy of the strength of the underdog. Yes, sometimes it happens, and often it is great when it does, but there are millions of occasions where the winner takes all.
There were some fascinating nuggets of information though, and all in all it was an enjoyable read. The New York Times review of this book: I've never hidden my stigmatized identity as an academic social scientist who loves Malcolm Gladwell. These points are valid, but I don't see them as damning. Gladwell isn't a scientist, and he's not writing textbooks.
Ideally, he helps spark people's interest in research and makes them wan I've never hidden my stigmatized identity as an academic social scientist who loves Malcolm Gladwell. Ideally, he helps spark people's interest in research and makes them want to know more and maybe less eager to de-fund science?
I don't always buy his arguments, and there's plenty to nit-pick, but I admire and enjoy his rhetorical style.
His stories are juicy and memorable. The theme here is situations where underdogs prevail and giants fail to benefit from their seemingly obvious advantages. As usual, the theme is diffuse and some of the stories are more germane, persuasive, or compelling than others. Still, I enjoyed taking the somewhat meandering, but also thought-provoking journey. View 2 comments. Dec 25, David rated it it was amazing Shelves: Malcolm Gladwell's books are all in the same style. Gladwell writes interesting anecdotes and then generalizes them, showing common themes, behaviors, or morals.
Whether or not these generalizations are valid, his books are vastly entertaining, and this book is no exception. David and Goliath is perhaps the most entertaining book I read this year! In the introduction, Gladwell reviews the biblical story of David and Goliath.
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The popular conception is that Goliath was a mighty warrior, and David a Malcolm Gladwell's books are all in the same style.
The popular conception is that Goliath was a mighty warrior, and David a meek shepherd who was clearly the underdog. Gladwell turns the story around, and by analyzing the biblical verses, he shows that David was not an underdog at all.
He had a number of advantages that should have raised his odds of winning. This is the major theme of the book; many apparent disadvantages can turn out to be advantages, while many apparent advantages can turn out to be disadvantageous. Each chapter is a compendium of anecdotes from all spheres of life, that give evidence for this turnabout. Gladwell describes a father who volunteered to be a basketball coach for his daughter's team.
Neither the father nor the girls had any experience with basketball. But because he was desperate, the father came up with an atypical strategy that turned the team into a powerhouse.
Gladwell shows that although dyslexia is a learning disability, it can help mold a person. A person with dyslexia, given the right aptitudes, can overcome the handicap and excel where other people have lesser abilities.
At a meeting of prominent university donors--mostly successful businesspeople, a neuroscientist asked how many had been diagnosed with a learning disorder. Half the hands went up. A medical doctor who had a terrible, traumatic childhood developed a cure for childhood leukemia.
Other doctors with normal childhoods were too squeamish to experiment and find such a cure. Gladwell shows that ultra-small class sizes are not always advantageous. Selective, elite schools are not necessarily good for all the students--they might only be good for those students at the very top of the class.
He wrote that " You should be measuring the parents. He writes that "the likelihood of a student completing a STEM degree rises by 2 percentage points for every point decrease in the university's average SAT score.
Gladwell writes about the apprehension in London before the expected bombing blitz by the Nazis. Courage is not something that you already have that makes you brave when the tough times start. Courage is what you earn when you've been through the tough times and you discover they aren't so tough after all.
He shows how the Germans thought that the bombing would traumatize the city. Instead, it made the British more courageous than ever before. I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in psychology, as a fast, entertaining look at human behavior. View all 5 comments. Malcolm Gladwell is notorious in certain circles for his brand of "turns out" pseudo-science writing.
The typical structure look something like this: First, he lays out a topic about which there's a certain conventional wisdom. He then proceeds to explain, through a series of anecdotes backed loosely by scientific research, that it "turns out" that this conventional wisdom is incorrect.
Outliers and The Tipping Point are two previous examples which I thoroughly enjoyed. This book follows that fo Malcolm Gladwell is notorious in certain circles for his brand of "turns out" pseudo-science writing. This book follows that formula, but less successfully than his previous works.
Overall, this book was very mediocre. If you thoroughly enjoyed Gladwell's other books, you might consider reading this. Otherwise, I'd probably skip it - just read Outliers instead. Gladwell's books have always walked the line between thought-provoking and entertaining on one hand, and over-simplistic and strained on the other hand. This one fell on the wrong side of that line.
The stories frequently managed to be entertaining and adequately told, but the link between the stories and the ideas they're supposed to illustrate are frequently far too flimsy to hold up under any kind of scrutiny. Portions of the book, particularly his direct deconstruction of the story of David and Goliath, are even painful to read. I'm not sorry that I read it, but I wouldn't recommend it highly to others. Dec 16, James rated it liked it.
Reading Gladwell has become, for me, the literary equivalent of eating Cheetos or listening to Coldplay - I unequivocally enjoy the experience, but in a vaguely unsatisfying way and I wouldn't want anyone to catch me doing it. His rhetorical stock-in-trade is the reassessment of received wisdom about human behavior examined with respect to such organizing topics as trends, decision-making, success and, in this instance, I wrote about my Malcolm Gladwell ambivalence in my What the Dog Saw review.
His rhetorical stock-in-trade is the reassessment of received wisdom about human behavior examined with respect to such organizing topics as trends, decision-making, success and, in this instance, perceived relative advantage in apparently mismatched conflicts. David and Goliath 's argument gets off to a rather clumsy start with a creakily literal-minded 'historical' analysis of the titular metaphor. Gladwell is right about the ubiquity and deadliness of slingers in ancient warfare, but his assertion that Goliath is the warrior 'outgunned' by his opponent "'Goliath had as much chance against David,' the historian Robert Dohrenwend writes, 'as any Bronze Age warrior with a sword would have had against an [opponent] armed with a.
And the claim that the 'historical' Goliath suffered, like Guiness's tallest-man-ever Robert Wadlow, from acromegaly, strikes me as the sort of disturbingly naive literalism I would expect from a televangelist and not a staff science writer for the New Yorker.
Does he suppose that the giant in the Jack tales suffered from the malady, as well? But, I quibble. The concepts of relative deprivation and desirable difficulty were convincing if not entirely new, and the analysis of iconic civil rights photographs, particularly the image of teenage Walter Gadsden being 'attacked' by a police dog, was revelatory. Gladwell has a clean, unobtrusive style and a facility for translating arid scientific literature into engaging layman's prose.
Can I offer you a Cheeto? Mar 19, Amir Tesla rated it really liked it Shelves: The act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty and giants are not what we think they are. The powerful and strong, are not always what they seem. We strive for the best and attach great importance to getting into the finest institutions we can.
But rarely do we stop and consider whether the most prestigious of institutions is always in our best interest. Students who would feel that they have mastered a subject at a good school can have the feeling that they are falling farther and farther behind in a really good school. What is learned out of necessity is inevitably more powerful than the learning that comes easily.
The contrast between the previous apprehension of fear and the present relief and feeling of security promotes self-confidence that is the very father and mother of courage. It has been said that most revolutions are not caused by revolutionaries in the first place, but by the stupidity and brutality of governments. This book is not about underdogs and giants in any conventional sense of these terms. Rather, the book is about the curious nature of advantages and disadvantages, and how each can under certain circumstances become its opposite.
The first lesson to be learned is that the things we take to be advantages are often no such thing. Our greatest mistake here comes from the fact that we identify a certain quality or characteristic as being a benefit or advantage, and then assume that the more of it there is the better—when this is often not the case.
Put another way, most of us recognize that it is possible to have too much of a good thing, and yet we fail to appreciate just how often and where this principle applies.
For instance, we recognize that having a certain amount of money greatly facilitates raising children it being very difficult to raise a family in a state of poverty , and yet we fail to recognize that beyond a certain point wealth also makes parenting increasingly difficult for it becomes harder and harder to instill qualities of hard work and self-control.
Or we recognize that small class sizes are a good thing, and yet we fail to recognize that classes can actually begin to suffer once they become too small since diversity and energy begin to disappear. Another arena wherein an advantage can become a disadvantage is in power and authority. Power and authority is an advantage, of course; however, when it is wielded illegitimately and without fairness, it can actually cause more chaos, destruction and violence than it curbs.
The second lesson to be learned here is that certain disadvantages can sometimes drive people into positions of advantage. Take the disadvantage of being born with a disability, for example.
Say dyslexia. In our modern world, where the ability to read is extremely important—and practically a requirement for success—having great difficulty with reading is a major disadvantage. And indeed the statistics indicate that the vast majority of those who are born dyslexic end up falling through the cracks and missing out on success.
Still, though, many dyslexics have gone on to become highly successful people; and it has also been noted that in certain fields such as entrepreneurship an inordinate proportion of the most successful individuals do, in fact, have dyslexia. So how can we explain these success stories? What we find in these cases is that these individuals have managed to compensate for their disability by developing skills that make up for their flaws such as an improved memory or debating prowess.
Thus, in a way, the successful dyslexic has actually benefited from his disability, because it has forced him into a position where he has had to develop other skills that have led him directly to success. Also at play here is the fact that dyslexics tend to endure many failures when they are young.
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell – review
Repeated failures especially at a young age have the potential to crush the spirit. But they can also have the opposite effect: A similar phenomenon also sometimes touches trauma victims. Take the ultimate trauma of losing a parent in childhood, for example. This is one of the worse experiences imaginable, and the trauma of losing a parent in childhood does indeed crush the vast majority of those who have the misfortune of enduring it.
Again, though, it has been noted that a very high proportion of highly successful individuals across many fields from science to art to politics have in fact lost a parent in childhood. And what we find in these cases is that the experience has left these individuals with the mind-set that now that they have endured such a terrible event, that nothing could ever be so bad. And thus they are liberated from the fear of failure, and—like the successful dyslexic—are willing to try things and take risks that others are not which often leads directly to success.
The same experience and logic can also apply to underdog groups. For example, when a group recognizes that it is severely over-matched in terms of skill or strength compared to its opponent, it can begin to feel liberated to try unconventional tactics and approaches.
This is often for the best, for it turns out that unconventional tactics and approaches are frequently very effective against giants—in everything from sports, to politics to war—and are, in many cases, the only chance the underdog has to win anyway. Again, then, in both of these instances the trauma victim and the underdog group a disadvantage has driven the party into a position of advantage, and thus the disadvantage may itself be seen as a kind of boon.
Gladwell has done well to make us rethink the nature of advantages and disadvantages across many fields. The only major flaw in the book, in my view, is the third and final part. The theme of the part is that power becomes less effective or even counter-productive when it is wielded illegitimately. The problem with this argument is that it's a classic case of the straw-man: Gladwell has set up an opposition that is very easy to defeat, and then smashed it to pieces.
What's worse is that the examples Gladwell uses to prove his point here are quite weak. Still, there is much of value in the first 2 parts of the book. A full executive summary of the book is available here: A podcast discussion of the book will be available shortly thereafter.
Jan 15, Mohamed al-Jamri rated it really liked it. I was not impressed. Although I have liked Gladwell's other books, this one was a miss. While I recognize that he finds empirical studies to support the central ideas of his books and am generally okay with that, he went too far with David and Goliath.
It was clear that he had a conviction that he wanted to persuade others to adopt and the stories in the book were chosen for that purpose. That part was expected and understandable; the part I couldn't get past was that I have read many of the stu I was not impressed.
That part was expected and understandable; the part I couldn't get past was that I have read many of the studies that he cited and disagree with the conclusions. Additionally, he gave a lot of stories to persuade a reader toward his opinion of class size reduction, but nearly all of the studies that supported his claims came from Economics journals.
My final complaint is that the stories used to illustrate his central idea felt disjointed and haphazard. All in all, this was not a well-written book that worked toward a coherent conclusion. Such a disappointment. Dec 03, Mehrsa rated it really liked it. As with everything Gladwell, this book is a fun and fast read that is not at all careful with its conclusions. It's not careful scholarship, but Gladwell doesn't claim it to me. In other words, he tells a story with great anecdotes and some data that doesn't always support the point he is making.
However, I believe the point he is making in David and Goliath that underdogs can have hidden strengths and that trials and tragedy can lead to strong character.
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
The point is valid and the stories are As with everything Gladwell, this book is a fun and fast read that is not at all careful with its conclusions. The point is valid and the stories are riveting. As with all of his books, I learned a lot about some key historical figures as well as some key historical events and came away with a different perspective on my own assumptions.
It was also an inspiring read and the stories were really well-written. But of course, I think he over-reaches in many of his conclusions. Dec 09, Ryan rated it liked it. Chicken Soup for the Pop Psychologist's Soul. Or something like that. The plural of anecdote is not data.
And when Mr. Gladwell has a hammer, everything looks like a nail. That is, he is a very persuasive writer, but ultimately I'm not really convinced about all of his conclusions. Do I need to point out that as social science goes, this is heavy on the social and light on the science?
You probably already knew that. Anyway, I did enjoy this one. Everyone loves an underdog.
And I enjoyed his retelling of certain historical events and eras. It makes me want to go back and do my own research on some of those stories to see how much of the telling is Gladwell's and how much is actually history. I listened to this on audiobook, and Gladwell narrated.
Excellent choice. David and Goliath is an excellent case in point. You might assume, as I so naturally did, that the Biblical tale of David and Goliath illustrates how the weak can overcome the strong. Leave it to Malcolm Gladwell to demonstrate that in reality this oft-told story demonstrates precisely the opposite.
According to Gladwell and to the numerous academic researchers whose work he cites , Goliath was massively vulnerable — in large part precisely because he was truly a giant — and David possessed an enormous advantage in his own right from the moment he walked onto the field of battle. The outcome of the battle was foreordained. In this out-of-left-field manner, Gladwell draws diverse examples from all over the map to illustrate his principal points: Gladwell writes about how dyslexia has proven to be the hidden key to success among a great many highly successful people, including such notables as Richard Branson and Charles Schwab.
David and Goliath is endlessly fascinating. Sep 13, Belhor rated it really liked it Shelves: I stayed up reading this book until I finished it, not only because I'm currently five books behind schedule and I just had two very big cups of tea, but also because this book, like most of Gladwell's other books, is very readable and engaging.
Well at least it was to me! I am of course, aware of the criticism this book has received, and I agree that his arguments should be taken But even so, I still believe much of his arguments will hold, at least partially.
Gladw I stayed up reading this book until I finished it, not only because I'm currently five books behind schedule and I just had two very big cups of tea, but also because this book, like most of Gladwell's other books, is very readable and engaging.
Gladwell sees things differently, and that is also one of the reasons why I enjoy reading his books! He has this thing were he can put a bunch of stuff together and come up with brilliant conclusions. I love that! I struggled whether I should give this one five stars or four.
It actually does matter to me! Stars aren't for free now are they?! I'm going to give this one four stars anyways. Off to read more of Gladwell soon enough! Gladwell Dropped the Rock I read this upon its publication a few years ago. I was disappointed because it was a real drop-off from Gladwell's previous books, such as Outliers: A few of his anecdotes, for example those relating to schooling, seemed a real stretch to support the book's theme of David v.
At times, it felt like he'd found some unrelated stories and tried to cobble th Gladwell Dropped the Rock I read this upon its publication a few years ago. At times, it felt like he'd found some unrelated stories and tried to cobble them into a proof of his hypothesis. I still appreciate Gladwell's work and his contribution to American letters.
This appears to be an aberration. Dec 16, Daniel Bastian rated it liked it Shelves: The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness.It means that we underestimate how much freedom there can be in what looks like a disadvantage.
And he was like, "You know, it probably is too big. As you read past the first few chapters, the stories become longer and it takes away from the points being made clearly. Thanks for telling us about the problem. So why pretend otherwise? Naturally, one would think tha The art of storytelling is quite powerful, especially - perhaps for history freaks like me - if it demonstrates an event from ancient times to deliver and idea in the most interesting and outstanding way.
It turns out David was not the underdog he at first appeared to be But beyond that, extra size just gets in your way. Instead, it made the British more courageous than ever before. So, if you put someone in a very, very highly competitive pond, they are going to reach very different conclusions about who they are and what they are capable of than if you put them in a less selective pond, a smaller pond.