Review of David and Goliath

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Bestselling author and New Yorker magazine writer Malcolm Gladwell has created his own niche, taking a to-the-zeitgeist concept and expanding it into a readable bestselling book. He offers a straightforward, conversational style and ample citations. His observations – such as The Tipping Point’s idea that you must practice 10,000 hours to achieve true skill – become social clichés and appear in every subsequent book. Gladwell works his niche well. This entertaining collection of ideas and illustrative anecdotes addresses an ancient yet contemporary theme: the triumph of the underdog.

About the Author

New Yorker magazine staff writer Malcolm Gladwell’s other bestsellers include Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking; Outliers: The Story of SuccessWhat The Dog Saw: And Other Adventures and The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make Can Make a Big Difference. 


King David

When the Biblical King David was a boy, he defeated the giant warrior Goliath using but a sling and a stone. Here, he serves as Gladwell’s archetype of the underdog’s triumph. Gladwell turns the usual interpretation of that confrontation on its head. He insists that people misunderstand underdog stories.

As he says, people have long regarded the victory of a David over a Goliath as far more rare than it really is. He holds that being an underdog can be a positive. It can “open doors..create opportunities” and make the “unthinkable” possible. Building on that idea, Gladwell ranges around the world and rummages through history for stories of determined underdogs and how they earned their victories.

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