Cultural icon Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller Outliers is his third book, following The Tipping Point and Blink, which established his brand. Outliers concerns cultural patterns and norms, a reasonable subject for Gladwell, since his astonishing success marks him as an “outlier” himself. Gladwell demonstrates the tenets of his consistent style. He cites many examples from wide-ranging fields and claims that the aggregation of those examples defines a principle. He describes behaviors and ideas in the abstract and then makes them concrete by telling memorable stories that illustrate them. He writes with a great deal of momentum, which is no easy feat. His narrative always seems to have the most powerful flow around ideas that might not stand up so well to deeper scrutiny. Supposed facts or conclusions you might question somehow surge past in a flood of highly readable prose. As in all of his books, Gladwell presents both original insights and banal clichés with the same light fervor, smooth writing and winning sincerity.
About the Author
New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell also wrote The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference; Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking; What The Dog Saw: And Other Adventures; and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.
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2 years agoSounds like a fun book to read, the (draft) abstract feels a bit like a review rather than a summary of the book. While I completely agree that the examples may not hold up against scientific standards, these days this method seems to be used by many tech savies citing Uber and AirBnB as proof of almost any theory about management or the future.