Outliers: The Story of Success

Malcolm Gladwell
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. Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2020-05-27
Four for content and thesis, two for... why was all of that great information so boring? Maybe it was just me, but I'm suspicious.
Reviewed: 2020-04-04
Little, Brown and Company
Reviewed: 2019-09-02
Outliers is better thank Blink, not as good as The Tipping Point. Like with Blink, Gladwell stitches together an overall point using a variety of anecdotes and stories, but like The Tipping Point (and unlike Blink) he does a decent job of citing scientific studies to back up his argument.

Outliers is a short book, but it still often feels overlong for the point. Often I found myself thinking "okay, I get it, let's move on."

Some of the sections, in particular the one about a specific airline prone to crashes, seem only barely related to the point. As I read the section about the airline, I kept wondering what the hell it had to do with the rest of the book. After reflecting on it a bit, I see its place in the book a bit more now, but it still feels only barely related to the narrative.

Overall, an interesting book that makes a few persuasive arguments (I'll look at summer vacation from school very differently now), but it's interesting almost in spite of how it's written, rather than because of it.
Reviewed: 2019-06-17
I enjoyed it but found it to be too anecdotal. I also found some contradictions. I like Gladwell's writing style, however; it is quite engaging. I would have liked him to go into more detail about how the ideas he discussed could be practically applied to everyday life.
Reviewed: 2018-10-10
Very interesting and thought provoking book on what makes a person successful.
Reviewed: 2018-10-06
3
Reviewed: 2016-11-03

Recommended by Prof. Brandon Smith

Reviewed: 2015-10-31
It was enjoyable, but like much of Gladwell's books, it depends way more on "Ohhhhhh....... aaaaaahhhhhh....." than any real theses. That said, it still is an enjoyable, worthwhile read, and it gave me things to think about in a whole new way.

I have to admit that I didn't quite get it when he waxed poetic about the KIPP schools. I know nothing about these schools - the sum total of my experience is what he describes in this book. It sounds like child abuse to me, and I'm not certain that it's a good example of an Outlier.

I listened to the audio version, and it ended with an interview with Mr. Gladwell. The interview was mostly Canadian Anti-American Socialist claptrap and it really left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Without the interview, I probably would have felt a lot better about this book.
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