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Outliers

The Story of Success

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

In this stunning bestseller, 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.
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 reveals the secrets of software billionaires like Bill Gates, why you've never heard of the smartest man in the world, why almost no star hockey players are born in the fall, why Asians are good at math, what made the Beatles the greatest rock band and, why, when it comes to plane crashes, where the pilots are from matters as much as how well they are trained.
The lives of outliers follow a peculiar and unexpected logic, and in uncovering that logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating blueprint for making the most of human potential--one that transforms the way we understand success.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 22, 2008 – SignatureReviewed by Leslie ChangIn Outliers, Gladwell (The Tipping Point) once again proves masterful in a genre he essentially pioneered the book that illuminates secret patterns behind everyday phenomena. His gift for spotting an intriguing mystery, luring the reader in, then gradually revealing his lessons in lucid prose, is on vivid display. Outliers begins with a provocative look at why certain five-year-old boys enjoy an advantage in ice hockey, and how these advantages accumulate over time. We learn what Bill Gates, the Beatles and Mozart had in common: along with talent and ambition, each enjoyed an unusual opportunity to intensively cultivate a skill that allowed them to rise above their peers. A detailed investigation of the unique culture and skills of Eastern European Jewish immigrants persuasively explains their rise in 20th-century New York, first in the garment trade and then in the legal profession. Through case studies ranging from Canadian junior hockey champions to the robber barons of the Gilded Age, from Asian math whizzes to software entrepreneurs to the rise of his own family in Jamaica, Gladwell tears down the myth of individual merit to explore how culture, circumstance, timing, birth and luck account for success and how historical legacies can hold others back despite ample individual gifts. Even as we know how many of these stories end, Gladwell restores the suspense and serendipity to these narratives that make them fresh and surprising.One hazard of this genre is glibness. In seeking to understand why Asian children score higher on math tests, Gladwell explores the persistence and painstaking labor required to cultivate rice as it has been done in East Asia for thousands of years; though fascinating in its details, the study does not prove that a rice-growing heritage explains math prowess, as Gladwell asserts. Another pitfall is the urge to state the obvious: No one, Gladwell concludes in a chapter comparing a high-IQ failure named Chris Langan with the brilliantly successful J. Robert Oppenheimer, not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires and not even geniuses ever makes it alone. But who in this day and age believes that a high intelligence quotient in itself promises success? In structuring his book against that assumption, Gladwell has set up a decidedly flimsy straw man. In the end it is the seemingly airtight nature of Gladwell's arguments that works against him. His conclusions are built almost exclusively on the findings of others sociologists, psychologists, economists, historians yet he rarely delves into the methodology behind those studies. And he is free to cherry-pick those cases that best illustrate his points; one is always left wondering about the data he evaluated and rejected because it did not support his argument, or perhaps contradicted it altogether. Real life is seldom as neat as it appears in a Malcolm Gladwell book. Leslie T. Chang is the author of Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China (Spiegel & Grau).

Customer Reviews

Another great Gladwell book

I was fascinated by Gladwell's first #1 bestseller The Tipping Point. this third book Outliers takes a look at what really makes us successful. I found it fascinating and revealing, with a great match of well researched facts along with Gladwell's great ability of storytelling.

The first part of the book focuses on research supporting it takes 10,000 hours for the human brain to get really really good at something. He demonstrates how early advantages make huge differences long term, and how we never really do it alone.

The second part of the book takes a look at how our family and societal legacies shape who we are. Gladwell demonstrates this through generational examples and different countries, and a wide range of different career types.

A fascinating look at success and how we achieve it, I found the book demonstrates that luck, upbringing, and hard work over the magic 10,000 hour rule hold true in many examples. There are hints for using his observations for readers who want to overcome their upbringing and cultural / educational backgrounds. I predict easily another #1 bestseller. I hIghly recommend this book, which may be his most important to date.

Not worth it

Just a collection of how some people are successful due to birth and other circumstances. Great for them, but where is the help for the rest of us?

Very clever book

This is by far best book on education I've ever read.
Highly recommended!
Mr.Gladwell, please keep on publishing !

Outliers
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Psychology
  • Published: Nov 18, 2008
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings