- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Back Bay Books; 1 edition (April 7, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316204374
- ISBN-13: 978-0316204378
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3,046 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants 1st Edition
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*Starred Review* Gladwell’s best-sellers, such as The Tipping Point (2000) and Outliers (2008), have changed the way we think about sociological changes and the factors that contribute to high levels of success. Here he examines and challenges our concepts of “advantage” and “disadvantage” in a way that may seem intuitive to some and surprising to others. Beginning with the classic tale of David and Goliath and moving through history with figures such as Lawrence of Arabia and Martin Luther King Jr., Gladwell shows how, time and again, players labeled “underdog” use that status to their advantage and prevail through the elements of cunning and surprise. He also shows how certain academic “advantages,” such as getting into an Ivy League school, have downsides, in that being a “big fish in a small pond” at a less prestigious school can lead to greater confidence and a better chance of success in later life. Gladwell even promotes the idea of a “desirable difficulty,” such as dyslexia, a learning disability that causes much frustration for reading students but, at the same time, may force them to develop better listening and creative problem-solving skills. As usual, Gladwell presents his research in a fresh and easy-to-understand context, and he may have coined the catchphrase of the decade, “Use what you got.” --David Siegfried --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Truly intriguing and inspiring."―Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times
"Provocative....David and Goliath is a lean, consuming read."―John Wilwol, San Francisco Chronicle
"As always, Gladwell's sweep is breathtaking and thought-provoking."―Joe Nocera, 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
"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'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
"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
"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
Top Customer Reviews
"David and Goliath" is an interesting yet somewhat disappointing book about what happens when ordinary people confront giants. Best-selling author, Malcolm Gladwell provides many examples that range from the compelling to the dare I say feeble. That being said, the book is stimulating and it's never boring, it just lacked the brilliance that a book like his very own "Outliers" has. This provocative 320-page book is broken out into the following three parts: 1. The Advantages of Disadvantages (and Disadvantages of Advantages), 2. The Theory of Desirable Difficulty, and 3. The Limits of Power.
1. Always engaging, provocative and a page turner. Gladwell is a gifted narrator.
2. Interesting subject, never boring. You never know what you are going to get from Gladwell. A great premise and title for a book, "David and Goliath".
3. Gladwell explores two main ideas through stories and keen observations. "What we consider valuable in our world arises out of these kinds of lopsided conflicts, because the act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty. And second, that we consistently get these kinds of conflicts wrong."
4. A recurring theme that resonates throughout the book, "There is an important lesson in that for battles with all kinds of giants. The powerful and the strong are not always what they seem."
5. I absolutely loved the story of Vivek Ranadive's basketball team and where Pitino's trademark strategy came from. "The whole Redwood City philosophy was based on a willingness to try harder than anyone else."
6. The provocative discussion on the correlation of class sizes and educational success.Read more ›
They'll say they don't like his pseudo-scientific claims. They'll say he oversimplifies everything. They might even mention some "incidents" where they witnessed a deluge of "random" people who hated on this book... just a day after it's released.
But I believe those people have an agenda. An agenda where they decided they were going to hate this book before they even read it.
When I buy a Malcolm Gladwell book, I don't expect in-depth analysis of hundreds of research studies. For that, I'll turn to someone like Eliot Aronson, Dan Ariely, or some new blood like Adam Grant. When I buy a Malcolm Gladwell book I expect to read compelling stories that bring a few pieces of key research to life. I also expect to be inspired by these stories. And in that regard, David and Goliath OVER DELIVERS.
#1 I loved the story of the impressionists
I won't ruin the story for you because I think you should buy the book and read it. But the short of it is this: When the impressionists were shunned from the high art society in France, they created their own art show. And their art became more popular. And today, their art is essentially priceless since the art they were showing in their 'offsite' art show totaled more than billion dollars worth of art.
What's funny about this story is the connection to Gladwell and today. Gladwell might get shunned by some nitpicking academics, and that's fine. He's not trying to break into the world of academia. He created his own world, and he's the guy selling millions of books.
This doesn't mean I hate academia though. I run a website called Social Triggers, and a podcast called Social Triggers Insider. My goal?Read more ›
"David and Goliath" is about battling giants... at least, I'm sure that's what you thought when you bought the book. That's certainly what the subtitle states - "Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battle Giants." However, you would only be partially correct. While there is some content related to battling so-called giants, the book's title is misleading. Most of the book is about advantages and disadvantages. The first section is about perceived advantages and how these advantages are often the source of disadvantage. The middle section is about perceived disadvantages and how these can be advantages. The last few chapters are about the limits of power, which is poorly connected to the overall theme of the book. Most of the stories had very little to do with battling giants, regardless of how you define the term "giants". In fact, Gladwell uses a very loose definition of "giants". Giants are anything that seems formidable.
Gladwell begins strong. He presents the story of David and Goliath but provides background to the story. The message to take away from the story is that David surprised Goliath. Goliath was expecting a sword-to-sword battle. Instead, David came out with his sling and took out the giant by refusing the play to Goliath's strengths, namely, his size.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The thesis here seems to be that traditional authority/power is only an advantage when it is seen as legitimate and is accepted. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Eric R. Leitz
I finished this book, wanting more because it was such a good read. This is the second book that I have read by Malcolm Gladwell. He is a good writer.Published 1 day ago by Cheron
Ok, let's be generous and give Malcolm 3.5 stars on this one. Obviously it's written in classic Gladwell Style but this book just did not prod me to keep turning the pages as I've... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Bill G.
It would help the author to know the subject instead of knowing about. Reading this work I was wandering if the author actually read what he just wrote a few pages before... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Kindle Customer
An interesting way to look at underdogs - they aren't always underdogs!Published 10 days ago by Italian/American
I liked the number of stories that he used to buttress the point he was trying to make.
However, I believe that God gave David the victory over Goliath. Read more
Gladwell is tha man. Always fun to get his perspective and investigative opinion on how things really are, and werePublished 12 days ago by Ingvi Þór Georgsson
An interesting look at thinking through what are the real advantages. The book was thought provoking and will be useful in how I look at the world.Published 14 days ago by 10splayer