Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Well-Read Commuter Reviews Outliers


Malcolm Gladwell

What this book is about:

Outliers is a non-fiction book that examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success to those that are on the fringe or the Outliers in their field. In part it attempts to tackle the question: is success, as American’s like to believe, the result of rugged individualism or is there something else at work? Gladwell examines what made the Beatles and Bill Gates so successful.

Did you like this book?
I really liked this book. It was an easy listen. This is Gladwell’s third book and in it he examines success and challenges all of our notions and long-held beliefs about it. Could it be that success is at times a result of accumulated advantages, luck and some practice? I use to believe that for the most part, we make our own luck and now I am not so sure. This book is a must read for anyone in the education profession and would be enjoyed by anyone else with a curious mind. One thing that I can never understand is how one of criticisms most often hurled at the well-loved Gladwell is that he oversimplifies complex sociological phenomenons. I completely disagree. Gladwell has a knack for pointing out the obvious and the way that he makes statistics sexy and accessible for all makes me wonder where he was when I was in graduate school.

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