David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

David and Goliath Underdogs Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants In his bestselling books The Tipping Point Blink and Outliers Malcolm Gladwell has explored the ways we understand and change our world Now he looks at the complex and surprising ways the weak ca

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 at the complex and surprising ways the weak can defeat the strong, the small can match up against the giant, and how our goals often culturally determined can make a huge difference in our ultimate sense of success DIn 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 at the complex and surprising ways the weak can defeat the strong, the small can match up against the giant, and how our goals often culturally determined can make a huge difference in our ultimate sense of success Drawing upon examples from the world of business, sports, culture, cutting edge psychology, and an array of unforgettable characters around the world, David and Goliath is in many ways the most practical and provocative book Malcolm Gladwell has ever written.

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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

  1. Malcolm Gladwell is a United Kingdom born, Canadian raised journalist now based in New York City He is a former business and science writer at the Washington Post He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996 He is best known as the author of the books The Tipping Point How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference 2000 , Blink The Power of Thinking Without Thinking 2005 , Outliers The Story of Success 2008 and David and Goliath Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants 2013.

528 Reply to “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants”

  1. Gladwell is taking a lot of heat for biasing the examples he chooses in his books to make points that are often later shown to be somewhat tenuous That may be the case, but he is a heck of a writer He knows how to tell a compelling story and the conversations he sparks go on for years Whatever harm that may come from the lack of rigorousness in his brand of pop psychology is easily overshadowed by the positive cultural impact that comes from people giving serious consideration to his ideas and h [...]

  2. I think everyone heard my jaw drop Much like a born again who reads the bible for the first time, I have never been able to relate to a book as well as with David Goliath.Disclosure I m a dyslexic who spent all of his youth struggling through school spending my lunches tirelessly improving my spelling while everyone else spent their lunch break improving their rest Things turned out all right, I was one of the first dyslexics at my school to graduate with an International Baccalaureate diploma a [...]

  3. The Art of Avoiding Bestsellers A Field Guide for AuthorsHow do books succeed By getting into the Bestseller lists By making a few millions By winning the most prestigious awards of the day Wrong.These are very narrow views on what constitutes success for a work of art, especially literature or serious non fiction If we redefine success, we might find that these very things that confers success in the short term might be hurting the artist author the most in the long term This applies to prestig [...]

  4. No one does insight porn quite as well as Malcolm Gladwell His technique has been fairly well analysed before, and, with the publication of David and Goliath is currently under the spotlight again e.g newstatesman 2013 10 m and blogabris 2013 10 why m Even though much of the backlash often falls directly into the same traps of which he gets accused e.g critics cherry picking the parts of his books that best support their complaints , the key argument is generally quite valid Gladwell takes a min [...]

  5. 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 always p [...]

  6. 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 creativity is asked for in the writing of non fiction than in fiction.Not that this guy really hides his artifice His stori [...]

  7. What an excellent storyteller I love his mind I was smiling a lot It s stimulating 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 FAVORITE TOPICS The story of David and GoliathLess talented basketball players can win using full court press.Th [...]

  8. 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 Gl [...]

  9. 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 hunte [...]

  10. 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.but otherwise I agree completely with his approach to life.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 it remin [...]

  11. I ve never hidden my stigmatized identity as an academic social scientist who loves Malcolm Gladwell Gladwell s books are routinely criticized by folks in my field for relying too heavily on anecdotes, conveniently selecting and interpreting supportive scientific studies, and imprecision overgeneralization 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 want to [...]

  12. 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 The popular conception is that Goliath was a mighty warrior, and David a mee [...]

  13. I wrote about my Malcolm Gladwell ambivalence in my What the Dog Saw review 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, per [...]

  14. 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 back loosely by scientific research, that it turns out that this conventional wisdom is incorrect This book follows that formula, but less successfully and have previous works.Overall, this book was very mediocre If yo [...]

  15. .The act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty and giants are not what we think they are 1 2 3 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 fal [...]

  16. A full executive summary of this book is available here newbooksinbrief 2013 10 22This 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 charact [...]

  17. 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 The point is valid and the stories are rivet [...]

  18. 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 [...]

  19. 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 studies [...]

  20. Gladwell Dropped the RockI 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 The Story of Success and, to a lesser degree, The Tipping Point How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference A few of his anecdotes, for example those relating to schooling, seemed a real stretch to support the book s theme of David v Goliath At times, it felt like he d found some unrelated stories and tried to cobble them int [...]

  21. Malcolm Gladwell Surprises AgainEver since I read Malcolm Gladwell s breakthrough book, The Tipping Point How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, I ve been unable to resist any new book from this most devilishly clever of nonfiction writers Gladwell s mind doesn t seem to work the way mine does, and, unless you re remarkably eccentric, I suspect the same could be said of you.David and Goliath is an excellent case in point You might assume, as I so naturally did, that the Biblical tale of Da [...]

  22. 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 well, not very seriously But even so, I still believe much of his arguments will hold, at least partially Gladwell see [...]

  23. Giants are not what we think they are The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness Big insights are rare commodities Unless, that is, you happen to be cycling through Gladwell territory, where tucked away inside every myth, anecdote or counterintuitive result is a profound lesson about the human condition This is harmless enough when confined to the fiction aisles of your local library, but Gladwell presents his ideas as scientifically respectable, [...]

  24. Malcolm Gladwell shows why you don t always have to be Goliath to win He explains why places such as a rebellious Northern Ireland, London during the Blitz, Birmingham in the American Civil Rights Movement, and a small town in Nazi occupied France, were able to triumph over stronger opponents We meet remarkable underdogs like Jay Freireich, the doctor who revolutionised treatment for children with leukaemia, and David Boies, a dyslexic trial attorney, who shouldn t have triumphed but did Gladwel [...]

  25. This is the kind of book I would normally dismiss immediately, but as a book club pick I gave it a shot I started with a sample on my kindle, but after falling asleep several times reading that I transitioned to audio book so I could listen while driving At about 3 chapters in, I wanted to quit Both the content and the style of writing were the opposite of interesting to me Obviously the author is trying to make a point and I understood that all of the anecdotal comparisons should be leading me [...]

  26. 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 The Event The war between the Israelites and the Philistines, in the the valley of Elah, during which a Confrontation between David a young small weak looking boy and Goliath a fearsome giant, took place and marked an end of an era, and a start of a legend Naturally, one would think that David has n [...]

  27. As you can guess from the title, this is the book about how underdogs break the rules and defeat the privileged As usual, Gladwell introduced many interesting examples to show his points.The story I liked best was the one about the middle school girl basketball team coached by an Indian businessman Vivek Ranadiv Ranadiv knew nothing about basketball and his team was made up with short nerdy girls But he managed to bring his team to the national championship Gladwell explained the strategies Rana [...]

  28. Interesting essays from Gladwell about how the underdog can win, but MORE about the way we believe certain things to be true, but they re actually not For example, David would always have beat Goliath as he broke the rules of 1 1 combat, choosing a weapon equivalent to a gun over a sword It was essentially an unfair fight but we celebrate David s winning against the odds, when in fact, we should celebrate breaking the rules and winning that way There s a lot about the misconceptions around educa [...]

  29. Let me ask you a series of questions Can a team with only mediocre offensive skills and limited physical gifts regularly beat teams that are talented Are larger classes sometimes better for learning than smaller ones Might an accomplished young woman interested in science find career success by attending a state university instead of the Ivy League school that admitted her Might a guy with dyslexia a serious disorder that affects reading ability do well in a legal career Can a physician with a [...]

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