Wednesday, July 16, 2014

David and Goliath by Malcom Gladwell


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

320 pages
  • Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition, 2013

*Starred Review* Gladwell’s best-sellers, such as The Tipping Point (2000) and Outliers (2008), have changed the way we think about sociological changes and the factors that contribute to high levels of success. Here he examines and challenges our concepts of “advantage” and “disadvantage” in a way that may seem intuitive to some and surprising to others. Beginning with the classic tale of David and Goliath and moving through history with figures such as Lawrence of Arabia and Martin Luther King Jr., Gladwell shows how, time and again, players labeled “underdog” use that status to their advantage and prevail through the elements of cunning and surprise. He also shows how certain academic “advantages,” such as getting into an Ivy League school, have downsides, in that being a “big fish in a small pond” at a less prestigious school can lead to greater confidence and a better chance of success in later life. Gladwell even promotes the idea of a “desirable difficulty,” such as dyslexia, a learning disability that causes much frustration for reading students but, at the same time, may force them to develop better listening and creative problem-solving skills. As usual, Gladwell presents his research in a fresh and easy-to-understand context, and he may have coined the catchphrase of the decade, “Use what you got.” --David Siegfried (BOOKLIST)

My Thoughts - I thoroughly enjoyed David and Goliath.   I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to challenge the way things are and become successful.  He talked about many instances where individuals made choices that changed their lives.  The choices,  while they were not the most popular or expected choices, they are what made the individual person unique and successful.  

Gladwell uses examples from history of people who made choices that while they seemed like mistakes at the time really are what made the person a success.    He talked about how people have overcome the typical problems with dyslexia to become great in-spite of if it such as Richard Branson.  Also he talked about that fact that 12 of our 44 presidents lost their fathers at an early age and achieved.  There was a very good story about the famous first "impressionist" artists and how they had to go against the establishment to get their works recognized.   

This is hopefully and encouraging book that allows the readers to challenge themselves to not give up but try alternative solutions.

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