on November 18th 2008
In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?
His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.
I’ve read several of Malcolm Gladwell’s books. I know that he gets blasted for writing “pseudo science”, connecting unrelated dots, and publishing in a different way than scholarly articles. But these books aren’t meant to be scholarly articles. They are interesting stories and he’s a great storyteller. I listened to the first season of Gladwell’s podcast Revisionist History and listened to this book on audio so have his voice echoing in my brain.
The story about the Beatles was really interesting. Our kids started learning musical instruments last year and that story helped me encourage them in their practice time letting them know to enjoy it, but also to know that it’s a marathon not a sprint.
Give this a read to enjoy the stories and how Gladwell weaves together stories and uncovers connections that you may not have heard before.
This was book number 8 of 52 for 2017.