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Outliers: The Story of Success Paperback – June 7, 2011
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"In the vast world of nonfiction writing, Malcolm Gladwell is as close to a singular talent as exists today...Outliers is a pleasure to read and leaves you mulling over its inventive theories for days afterward."―David Leonhardt, New York Times Book Review
"The explosively entertaining Outliers might be Gladwell's best and most useful work yet...There are both brilliant yarns and life lessons here: Outliers is riveting science, self-help, and entertainment, all in one book."―Gregory Kirschling, Entertainment Weekly
"No other book I read this year combines such a distinctive prose style with truly thought-provoking content. Gladwell writes with a high degree of dazzle but at the same time remains as clear and direct as even Strunk or White could hope for."―Atlanta Journal Constitution
About the Author
Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1996. He is the host of the podcast Revisionist History and the author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and What the Dog Saw. Prior to joining The New Yorker, he was a reporter at the Washington Post. Gladwell was born in England and grew up in rural Ontario. He now lives in New York.
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Malcolm Gladwell explores the different factors that decide the difference between successful and unsuccessful people. We learn what rock stars, geniuses and computer programmers have in common. He explains that success is not just a matter of IQ, but a combination of hard work and opportunity. In Outliers, Gladwell hooks the reader by first providing an anecdote and explaining the common misconceptions that people have about that situation and then completely turns our understanding of how they got to be successful on its head.
This book includes stories of why January first is the ideal birthday for a hockey player, how the work ethic determined by Jewish immigrants making clothes lead to them becoming successful lawyers, how Asians working in rice paddies has developed a culture which excels at math, and how performing for 10,000 hours in Hamburg decided the Beatles’ rise to fame. While this book was enjoyable for this trivia alone, Gladwell manages to change our perception of success entirely, because timing, circumstance, and even luck are major factors that decide a person’s success. Sometimes the disadvantaged actually have all the advantages in the world just because they happened to be born in the right place at the right time. We have to examine all the factors surrounding a successful individual which all had to come together in order for him or her to be an outlier.
Gladwell bases most of his anecdotes and explanations on research conducted by others and I wish he would have gone into more detail about how these studies were conducted and how reliable they actually are but this is the only complaint I have about this book. He is a very charming and enthusiastic story teller, he thoroughly explains his thought process without rambling and kept me interested and engaged throughout the whole book. Overall I enjoyed reading Outliers and I would definitely recommend it to others.
I am a fan - I think the author is an awesome storyteller. His skill in presenting complex scientific principals in an entertaining and easy to understand format is truly a gift.
In Outliers Malcolm gives clear insights and answers as to what makes a tremendously successful person (Malcolm's definition of an Outlier). In this book Outlier is only on the success side as the term Outlier can easily be used to define an abject loser also on the other end of the spectrum. Now the simple synopsis of this book is that a successful Outlier is not a self made man only but also needs a few lucky circumstances, ethnicity, genetics, family background and breaks to become an Outlier. After reading through Malcolm's tangible evidence, facts and anecdotes, I had to hit my head and say why didn't I ever come to these conclusions about successful people? My perceptions on success and being successful have changed.
Throughout the book he brings up various bits of information and facts on a topic that he has discovered. He'll dig a little deeper into the topic and draw a conclusion from this. The problem with this is his information/data is incomplete and misleading on numerous topics.
I researched a few of the topics because I found them interesting and wanted to learn more. After doing this research it became apparent that Gladwell is either jumping to conclusions with incomplete research or is going out of his way to prove a point cherry picking data.
Based on what I've researched I've found significant errors with the following topics:
-Canadian hockey players
-10,000 hour rule
-Top NYC Lawyers
-Schooling in the US vs other countries
Based on this it's difficult for me to believe any of the other topics in this book. PLEASE do your own research before just believing everything you read in this book.
The book arrived promptly, within 2 days. Which was perfect, because I was 2 days late to ordering it. :P
I really appreciate Malcolm Gladwell. His style of writing is friendly and easy to keep up with for the average reader. Every concept was fairly uncomplicated to understand.
I've read two other Gladwell books - I'd recommend starting with this one.