Book Review: Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath - Freakonomics FreakonomicsGoodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.
Malcolm Gladwell on Talking to Strangers
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
If you think you know the story of David and Goliath , think again. In his new book, "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants," Malcolm Gladwell says most people get this famous Biblical yarn all wrong because they misunderstand who really has the upper hand. It is because of , and not despite, David's size and unorthodox choice of weapon that he is able to slay the lumbering giant. In other words, Gladwell says, most people underestimate the importance of agility and speed. The same misunderstanding happens in David vs. Goliath fights in business, which Gladwell substantiates with numerous case studies and research examples in his recently published book.
Like every other book by Gladwell, it is already a best-seller. And having read — and very much enjoyed — the book, I can see why. Gladwell once again presents a variety of interesting stories, this time centered on the question of whether underdogs are as disadvantaged as we believe the opening story on David and Goliath — which makes this observation — is worth the price of admission. My sense — from the few reviews I have seen — is that critics have primarily focused on whether the argument they think Gladwell is making is valid. I am going to argue that this approach misses the fact that the stories Gladwell tells are simply well worth reading i.
The book focuses on the probability of improbable events occurring in situations where one outcome is greatly favored over the other. The book contains many different stories of these underdogs who wind up beating the odds, the most famous being the story of David and Goliath. David and Goliath employs individual case studies and comparison to provide a wide range of examples where perceived major disadvantages in fact turn out to be the keys to the underdog Davids' triumph against Goliath-like opponents or situations. In one arc, Gladwell cites various seeming afflictions that may in fact have significantly contributed to success, linking dyslexia with the high-flying career of lawyer David Boies , and the loss of a parent at an early age with the exceptional research work of oncologist Emil J. These anecdotal lessons are anchored by references to research in the social sciences.
Site Information Navigation
M alcolm Gladwell's new book promises to turn your view of the world upside down. We all think we know what happened when David took on Goliath: the little guy won. Gladwell thinks we all have it wrong, and opens his new book with a retelling of that story. Our mistake is to assume it's a story about the weak beating the powerful with the help of pluck and guile and sheer blind faith. But as Gladwell points out, it was Goliath who was the vulnerable one. He was a giant, which made him slow, clumsy and probably half-blind double vision is a common side-effect of an excess of human growth hormone. The only way he could have beaten David was by literally getting his hands on him — but David had no need to go anywhere near him.
The world becomes less complicated with a Malcolm Gladwell book in hand. Gladwell raises questions — should David have won his fight with Goliath? A recent posting on Goodreads, a Web site that bolsters enthusiasm for books and reveals no-baloney reasons readers like them, lauds the power of Mr. Taubman asked this week about Mr. As Mr. The first is that there is greatness and beauty in David-Goliath fights, at least when the underdog wins.