Outliers: The Story of Success

Outliers: The Story of Success

4.1 1288
by Malcolm Gladwell
     
 

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There is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people, a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition. Gladwell argues that the true story of success is very different, and that if we want to understand how some people thrive, we should spend more time looking around them-at such things as their family, their birthplace, or even their birthSee more details below

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Overview

There is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people, a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition. Gladwell argues that the true story of success is very different, and that if we want to understand how some people thrive, we should spend more time looking around them-at such things as their family, their birthplace, or even their birth date. And in revealing that hidden logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating and provocative blueprint for making the most of human potential.

In The Tipping Point Gladwell changed the way we understand the world. In Blink he changed the way we think about thinking. In OUTLIERS he transforms the way we understand success.

Editorial Reviews

David Leonhardt
In the vast world of nonfiction writing, Malcolm Gladwell is as close to a singular talent as exists today...Outliers is a pleasure to read and leaves you mulling over its inventive theories for days afterward.
New York Times Book Review
Gregory Kirschling
The explosively entertaining Outliers might be Gladwell's best and most useful work yet...There are both brilliant yarns and life lessons here: Outliers is riveting science, self-help, and entertainment, all in one book.
Entertainment Weekly
Atlanta Journal Constitution
"No other book I read this year combines such a distinctive prose style with truly thought-provoking content. Gladwell writes with a high degree of dazzle but at the same time remains as clear and direct as even Strunk or White could hope for."
David Leonhardt - New York Times Book Review
"In the vast world of nonfiction writing, Malcolm Gladwell is as close to a singular talent as exists today...Outliers is a pleasure to read and leaves you mulling over its inventive theories for days afterward."
Gregory Kirschling - Entertainment Weekly
"The explosively entertaining Outliers might be Gladwell's best and most useful work yet...There are both brilliant yarns and life lessons here: Outliers is riveting science, self-help, and entertainment, all in one book."
From the Publisher
"In the vast world of nonfiction writing, Malcolm Gladwell is as close to a singular talent as exists today...Outliers is a pleasure to read and leaves you mulling over its inventive theories for days afterward."—David Leonhardt, New York Times Book Review

"The explosively entertaining Outliers might be Gladwell's best and most useful work yet...There are both brilliant yarns and life lessons here: Outliers is riveting science, self-help, and entertainment, all in one book."—Gregory Kirschling, Entertainment Weekly

"No other book I read this year combines such a distinctive prose style with truly thought-provoking content. Gladwell writes with a high degree of dazzle but at the same time remains as clear and direct as even Strunk or White could hope for."—Atlanta Journal Constitution

Publishers Weekly

Journalist Gladwell has established himself on the nonfiction bestseller lists by breaking down complex social science research into approachable concepts that can spark discussion around water coolers and cafe tables. Some of Gladwell's critics fault him for zeroing in on compelling anecdotes that may not consistently add up to empirical proof, but his flair for narrative serves him well as a reader. Gladwell builds dramatic tension into his storytelling-from the unique childhood of software tycoon Bill Gates to the secrets of success found along the rice fields of ancient China and Japan-making for an engaging listening experience even though the threads may not always tie together into a seamless package. The bonus author interview features some entertaining insights, including Canadian Gladwell's explanation for why so many comedy superstars hail from America's northern neighbor. A Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 22). (Nov.)

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Library Journal

Internationally best-selling author Gladwell (The Tipping Point) presents a fascinating analysis of the factors that lead to success, delving into the backgrounds of business leaders, athletes, artists, and musicians to reveal how their culture, circumstance, timing, birth, and luck have all played a key role in their success. While listeners may need some time to adjust to the author's gravelly, breaking-voice narration, this popular analysis geared toward the mass market nevertheless provides an important contribution to the factors impacting human potential. Recommended for academic psychology collections and larger public libraries. [The review of the Little, Brown hc said that "libraries will need to acquire it," LJ10/1/08.-Ed.]
—Dale Farris

Kirkus Reviews
There is a logic behind why some people become successful, and it has more to do with legacy and opportunity than high IQ. In his latest book, New Yorker contributor Gladwell (Blink, 2005, etc.) casts his inquisitive eye on those who have risen meteorically to the top of their fields, analyzing developmental patterns and searching for a common thread. The author asserts that there is no such thing as a self-made man, that "the true origins of high achievement" lie instead in the circumstances and influences of one's upbringing, combined with excellent timing. The Beatles had Hamburg in 1960-62; Bill Gates had access to an ASR-33 Teletype in 1968. Both put in thousands of hours-Gladwell posits that 10,000 is the magic number-on their craft at a young age, resulting in an above-average head start. The author makes sure to note that to begin with, these individuals possessed once-in-a-generation talent in their fields. He simply makes the point that both encountered the kind of "right place at the right time" opportunity that allowed them to capitalize on their talent, a delineation that often separates moderate from extraordinary success. This is also why Asians excel at mathematics-their culture demands it. If other countries schooled their children as rigorously, the author argues, scores would even out. Gladwell also looks at "demographic luck," the effect of one's birth date. He demonstrates how being born in the decades of the 1830s or 1930s proved an enormous advantage for any future entrepreneur, as both saw economic booms and demographic troughs, meaning that class sizes were small, teachers were overqualified, universities were looking to enroll and companies were looking foremployees. In short, possibility comes "from the particular opportunities that our particular place in history presents us with." This theme appears throughout the varied anecdotes, but is it groundbreaking information? At times it seems an exercise in repackaged carpe diem, especially from a mind as attuned as Gladwell's. Nonetheless, the author's lively storytelling and infectious enthusiasm make it an engaging, perhaps even inspiring, read. Sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
The Herald Sun
"This third book by the author gets under the skin of glib truths we've believed about success. Gladwell unveils studies and similarities that point to opportunity, timing and 10,000 hours of practice as keys to success rather than sheer talent. Gladwell's voice combines knowledgeable professor and gifted storyteller."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316017930
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
06/07/2011
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
84
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
1080L (what's this?)

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