What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures

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Overview

Over the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has become the most gifted and influential journalist in America. In The New Yorker, his writings are such must-reads that the magazine charges advertisers significantly more money for ads that run within his articles. With his #1 bestsellers, The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers, he has reached millions of readers. And now the very best and most famous of his New Yorker pieces are collected in a brilliant and provocative anthology. Among the pieces: his investigation into why there are so many different kinds of mustard but only one kind of ketchup; a surprising assessment of what makes for a safer automobile; a look at how we hire when we can't tell who's right for the job; an examination of machine built to predict hit movies; the reasons why homelessness might be easier to solve than manage; his famous profile of inventor and entrepreneur Ron Popeil; a look at why employers love personality tests; a dissection of Ivy League admissions and who gets in; the saga of the quest to invent the perfect cookie; and a look at hair dye and the hidden history of postwar America.

For the millions of Malcolm Gladwell fans, this anthology is like a greatest hits compilation-a mix tape from America's alpha mind

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Tipping Point woke us to the wonders of Malcolm Gladwell; Blink, bringing us up with a start, confirmed his talents of discernment, and Outliers proved that this conscientious outsider was still watching us, picking up clues to how we all tick and synchronize our tics. In this batch of inquiries, Gladwell covers the world: from insurgent warlords to ketchup makers; from canine whisperers to ethnic profilers; from NFL signal callers to high school teachers. Most of us don't fit into any of those categories, but that doesn't lessen our interest in his observations. What the Dog Saw challenges us to think like other people and see like other species.
Janet Maslin
This evidence of a Gladwell effect helps to predict something larger: that Mr. Gladwell's new book will be as successful as his first three...This book full of short conversation pieces is a collection that plays to the author's strengths. It underscores his way of finding suitably quirky subjects (the history of women's hair-dye advertisements; the secret of Heinz's unbeatable ketchup; even the effects of women's changing career patterns on the number of menstrual periods they experience in their lifetimes) and using each as gateway to some larger meaning.
New York Times
Steven Pinker
Gladwell is a writer of many gifts. His nose for the untold back story will have readers repeatedly muttering, "Gee, that's interesting!" He avoids shopworn topics, easy moralization and conventional wisdom, encouraging his readers to think again and think different...Some chapters are masterpieces in the art of the essay.
The New York Times Book Review
Craig Seligman
Uniformly delightful...Malcolm Gladwell can write engrossingly about just about anything...His witty, probing articles are as essential to David Remnick's New Yorker as those of Wolcott Gibbs and A.J. Liebling were to Harold Ross's...Gladwell has a gift for capturing personalities, a Borscht Belt comic's feel for timing and a bent for counterintuitive thinking. He loves to start a piece by settling you onto a cushion of received ideas, then yanking it out from under you.—
Bloomberg News
Scott Coffman
Malcolm Gladwell triumphantly returns to his roots with this collections of his great works from The New Yorker Magazine....Do yourself a favor and curl up with What the Dog Saw this week: It is more entertaining and edifying than should be legal for any book.
Louisville Courier-Journal
Alice Evans
In What the Dog Saw, Malcolm Gladwell leads the reader on delightful side excursions, shows with insightful conversation how one path interweaves with another, and suggests meaning-he is, in short, an interpretative naturalist of American culture.
The Oregonian
Alex Altman - Time.com
GREAT PRAISE FOR WHAT THE DOG SAW:

"[Malcolm Gladwell] is one of the brightest stars in the media firmament...Gladwell's clear prose and knack for upending conventional wisdom across the social sciences have made The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers, as well as his lengthy magazine features on topics ranging from cool-hunting to ketchup, into must reads."

Steven Pinker - The New York Times Book Review
"Gladwell is a writer of many gifts. His nose for the untold back story will have readers repeatedly muttering, "Gee, that's interesting!" He avoids shopworn topics, easy moralization and conventional wisdom, encouraging his readers to think again and think different...Some chapters are masterpieces in the art of the essay."
Janet Maslin - New York Times
"This evidence of a Gladwell effect helps to predict something larger: that Mr. Gladwell's new book will be as successful as his first three...This book full of short conversation pieces is a collection that plays to the author's strengths. It underscores his way of finding suitably quirky subjects the history of women's hair-dye advertisements; the secret of Heinz's unbeatable ketchup; even the effects of women's changing career patterns on the number of menstrual periods they experience in their lifetimes and using each as gateway to some larger meaning."
Craig Seligman - Bloomberg News
"Uniformly delightful...Malcolm Gladwell can write engrossingly about just about anything...His witty, probing articles are as essential to David Remnick's New Yorker as those of Wolcott Gibbs and A.J. Liebling were to Harold Ross's...Gladwell has a gift for capturing personalities, a Borscht Belt comic's feel for timing and a bent for counterintuitive thinking. He loves to start a piece by settling you onto a cushion of received ideas, then yanking it out from under you."-
Scott Coffman - Louisville Courier-Journal
"Malcolm Gladwell triumphantly returns to his roots with this collections of his great works from The New Yorker Magazine....Do yourself a favor and curl up with What the Dog Saw this week: It is more entertaining and edifying than should be legal for any book."
Alice Evans - The Oregonian
"In What the Dog Saw, Malcolm Gladwell leads the reader on delightful side excursions, shows with insightful conversation how one path interweaves with another, and suggests meaning-he is, in short, an interpretative naturalist of American culture."
From the Publisher
GREAT PRAISE FOR WHAT THE DOG SAW:

"[Malcolm Gladwell] is one of the brightest stars in the media firmament...Gladwell's clear prose and knack for upending conventional wisdom across the social sciences have made The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers, as well as his lengthy magazine features on topics ranging from cool-hunting to ketchup, into must reads."—Alex Altman, Time.com

"This evidence of a Gladwell effect helps to predict something larger: that Mr. Gladwell's new book will be as successful as his first three...This book full of short conversation pieces is a collection that plays to the author's strengths. It underscores his way of finding suitably quirky subjects (the history of women's hair-dye advertisements; the secret of Heinz's unbeatable ketchup; even the effects of women's changing career patterns on the number of menstrual periods they experience in their lifetimes) and using each as gateway to some larger meaning."—Janet Maslin, New York Times

"Gladwell is a writer of many gifts. His nose for the untold back story will have readers repeatedly muttering, "Gee, that's interesting!" He avoids shopworn topics, easy moralization and conventional wisdom, encouraging his readers to think again and think different...Some chapters are masterpieces in the art of the essay."—Steven Pinker, The New York Times Book Review

"Uniformly delightful...Malcolm Gladwell can write engrossingly about just about anything...His witty, probing articles are as essential to David Remnick's New Yorker as those of Wolcott Gibbs and A.J. Liebling were to Harold Ross's...Gladwell has a gift for capturing personalities, a Borscht Belt comic's feel for timing and a bent for counterintuitive thinking. He loves to start a piece by settling you onto a cushion of received ideas, then yanking it out from under you."-—Craig Seligman, Bloomberg News

"Malcolm Gladwell triumphantly returns to his roots with this collections of his great works from The New Yorker Magazine....Do yourself a favor and curl up with What the Dog Saw this week: It is more entertaining and edifying than should be legal for any book."—Scott Coffman, Louisville Courier-Journal

"In What the Dog Saw, Malcolm Gladwell leads the reader on delightful side excursions, shows with insightful conversation how one path interweaves with another, and suggests meaning-he is, in short, an interpretative naturalist of American culture."—Alice Evans, The Oregonian

Steven Pinker
Gladwell is a writer of many gifts. His nose for the untold back story will have readers repeatedly muttering, "Gee, that's interesting!" He avoids shopworn topics, easy moralization and conventional wisdom, encouraging his readers to think again and think different. His prose is transparent, with lucid explanations and a sense that we are chatting with the experts ourselves. Some chapters are masterpieces in the art of the essay.
—The New York Times Book Review
Janet Maslin
This book full of short conversation pieces is a collection that plays to the author's strengths. It underscores his way of finding suitably quirky subjects (the history of women's hair-dye advertisements; the secret of Heinz's unbeatable ketchup; even the effects of women's changing career patterns on the number of menstrual periods they experience in their lifetimes) and using each as gateway to some larger meaning. It illustrates how often he sets up one premise (i.e. that crime profiling helps track down serial killers) only to destroy it.
—The New York Times
Library Journal
Gladwell (The Tipping Point) has gathered 22 of his pieces that have appeared in The New Yorker since 1996, arranging them into three sections: "Obsessive, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius," "Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses," and "Personality, Character and Intelligence." Fans who are not familiar with Gladwell's articles will be delighted to discover that his shorter work contains the same level of insight, wit, and talent for making the mundane fascinating as they've come to expect from his longer work. Gladwell's writing here is filled with colorful characters, acute analyses, and intriguing questions. However, be warned that the organization of the articles by topic rather than by date can be confusing, especially since much of what Gladwell is discussing has since changed. For instance, although articles about the Challenger explosion, the stock market, and Enron all have postscripts about developments that occurred after the original publication of these pieces, the original publication dates are indicated neither in the table of contents nor at the start of the pieces, frustrating readers' attempts to learn what time period each article covers. VERDICT Fans of Gladwell's writing will want to add this to their bookshelves. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/09.]—April Younglove, Rochester Regional Lib. Council, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316075848
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 10/20/2009
  • Pages: 410
  • Sales rank: 137,351
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with the New Yorker magazine since 1996. He is the author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, all of which were number one New York Times bestsellers. Prior to joining the New Yorker, he was a reporter with the Washington Post, where he covered business, science, and then served as the newspaper's New York City bureau chief. Gladwell was born in England, grew up in rural Ontario, and now lives in New York City.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, NY
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 3, 1963
    2. Place of Birth:
      England, U.K.
    1. Education:
      University of Toronto, History degree, 1984

Table of Contents

Preface

PART ONE:
"To a worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish."
Obsessives, pioneers, and other varieties of minor genius.

The Pitchman
Ron Popeil and the conquest of the American kitchen

The Ketchup Conundrum
Mustard now comes in dozens of different varieties. Why has ketchup stayed the same?

Blowing Up
How Nassim Taleb turned the inevitability of disaster into an investment strategy.

True Colors
Hair Dye and the hidden history of postwar America

John Rock's Error
What the inventor of the birth control pill didn't know about women's health

What the Dog Saw
Cesar Millan and the movements of mastery

PART TWO:
"It was like driving down an interstate looking through a soda straw."
Theories, Predictions and Diagnoses

Open Secrets
Enron, intelligence and the perils of too much information

Million Dollar Murray
Why problems like homelessness may be easier to solve than to manage

The Picture Problem
Mammography, air power, and the limits of looking.

Something Borrowed
Should a charge of plagiarism ruin your life?

Connecting the Dots
The paradoxes of intelligence reform.

The Art of Failure
Why some people choke and others panic

Blowup
Who can be blamed for a disaster like the Challenger explosion? No one, and we'd better get used to it.

PART THREE:
" 'He'll be wearing a doubled breasted suit. Buttoned.'-and he was."
Personality, character and intelligence.

Most Likely to Succeed
How do we hire when we can't tell who's right for the job.

Dangerous Minds
Criminal profiling made easy

The TalentMyth
Are smart people over-rated?

Late Bloomers
Why do we equate genius with precocity?

The New Boy Network
What do job interviews really tell us?

Troublemakers
What pit bulls can teach us about crime
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 480 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 482 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Whew! Glad I Finished that One

    I have read with pleasure Malcolm Gladstone's books "Blink" and "Outliers" with fascination and interest and with level of intensity that made those two books quite enjoyable. I did not have the same experience with "What the Dog Saw." It is not the same. Perhaps Gladstone's attempt to cobble together old columns and writings just does not work for me. I found reading this book and getting through it an ordeal. I always finish a book even when I am not particularly enjoying it. This one bordered on being painful to get through. Then again, it could just be me. I am not a fan of short story books either. Some of the topics addressed by Gladstone were interesting such as the opening chapter about "The Pitchman," but that interest and intensity of writing is just not sustained throughout the whole book. "Outliers" and "Blink" were thought-provoking, engaging, and fascinating, but this one never rises to the same level. There are books that I would call not very enjoyable, but a worthwhile read. I am sorry to say that I just can't call this one a worthwhile read. I'm afraid this one was one of those published with the hopes that because of Gladwell's previous successes, it would see success as well. I am sure it has sold well, but this is one of those books that can make you not want to read any more by this author.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    A Glance At Another Perspective

    "The trick to finding ideas is to convince yourself that everyone and everything has a story to tell" (xix). In my opinion, What the Dog Saw is a clever way to gain insight on information that Gladwell calls "adventures;" a collection of 19 articles placed into three specific categories: minor geniuses, theories and predictions. I am not usually intrigued by social science or psychology... I am, after all, a senior in High School who prides myself on being an "abstract thinker," "creative," and an "artist," but surprisingly Malcolm Gladwell took particular topics and articulately portrayed experiences with a tone of great excitement and curiosity for the subjects, which allowed me to continue reading the book with an excited anticipation. I understand the arguments from people who had previously read Gladwell's articles in The New Yorker; it was nothing new. But for those craving a logical book filled with facts, and a bit of passion, it was refreshing, to say the least.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Fun and Engaging Read. Interesting and Enlarging.

    I enjoy books and articles that give me a bigger picture of the world. Malcolm Gladwell does it with prose that is both faced paced and substantive. Many people will suspect that these reprinted articles from the New Yorker are just a way of cashing in on previous successes, and they may well be, but they are well worth the read. These insights into human nature and experience, giving us the real story behind people and events, are perhaps the only real truths available to us. "What the Dog Saw" spoke to me on both emotional and intellectual levels in a very satisfying way. Light, enjoyable reading that informs and inspires is a big part of what good writing is all about. I enjoyed his earlier book, "Outliers," in much the same way. But here the greater variety of subjects, each presented with sufficient depth that never bogs down, was even more insightful, expanding and encouraging. With the constant deluge of bad news, and with the winter chill freezing us out even down here in Florida, Malcolm's writing is a fresh, warm and fragrant breeze. I looked forward to reading "What the Dog Saw" in the same way I look forward to getting together with good friends. However, this book always fit into my schedule.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    Fascinating and enjoyable read

    I devoured this book. And then I had to talk about all of the fascinating, interesting, well written, diverse topics with anyone who would listen. From the history of the Pill to the history of ketchup, to the efficacy of serial killer profiling to the art of the job interview, I learned all sort of things I would not have ever considered otherwise.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    Very interesting reading

    I bought What the Dog Saw on impulse which usually is not a good thing. I was pleasently surprised when I found that I actually enjoyed reading Mr Gladwell's articles even on topics that I would have skipped over if I was reading the original in the magazine. I would not have expected to be interested in articles on womens hair coloring or pitchmen for TV kitchen gimmicks but I was. A very good book for when you want to read something short but interesting and well written

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    Ahead of his time

    These articles are so far ahead their time that you wonder what planet Gladwell came from. He is clear, yet scholarly, profound but research based, concise yet detailed.
    He is so on target. What other writer, particularly a non-fiction writer, had four books on the best seller list at the same time?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    What the Author Saw in His New Book What the Dog Saw

    Malcolm Gladwell is a supreme writer. Be it any one of his three past bestsellers or his newest book, Gladwell's writing is clear, exciting, and clearly holds the interest of the reader.

    In What the Dog Saw, Gladwell shares his favorite columns spanning the past thirteen years from his regular writing gig with The New Yorker magazine.

    The title came from his interview and research for a column he wrote, and included in this book, on Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. When Gladwell started writing that particular column he wondered what Millan was thinking as he trained some of the most difficult and ill behaved dogs one can find. In the middle of writing the column, Gladwell decided the more interesting question was what did the dog see during Millan's training.

    The author also shares a bit of his personal and professional life with readers in this book. And, he gives his secret for finding columns on subjects that may not readily lend themselves to writing about. Topics such as gourmet mustard and regular ole ketchup are brought to life and make the reader think.

    This is a great read by a great contemporary writer and columnist.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2009

    From theBookChubi

    I listened to the audiobook and I think that was a good idea. First off, Gladwell has a great vocal quality that can both present information in a neutral tone (avoiding the problem of biasing the reader straight from the start) but is also very animated and really helps bring the information alive. Although the words themselves are what is important, without the additional presentational quality of the author I feel this book may come off as dry or too factual (as opposed to the stated purpose of providing an alternative idea). He takes you along the entire thought process behind the theories and ideas he is writing about so that you aren't simply confronted with the "solution" but get an idea of each step taken to arrive at that conclusion.

    Some of the endings are blunt, which may work well for The New Yorker (where the articles were sourced from) but do seem a bit abrupt for a collection of stories in a book. Gladwell is fantastic about bringing each story around full circle and creating a through-line which, rather than sounding like a college paper (as these articles could have been doomed in another author's hands), provide a rich plot which happens to provide valuable information in the mean time. You will learn something even if you don't mean to and in the context of this book that is a positive factor.

    All in all this book deserves your attention (it sure managed to capture mine).

    Read the full review at: http://thebookchubi.blogspot.com/2009/11/i-hope-i-have-encouraged-people-in.html

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2014

    I listened to Malcolm Gladwell read his book, What the Dog Saw,

    I listened to Malcolm Gladwell read his book, What the Dog Saw, and it was excellent! I have a background in marketing, and many of the stories in this audiobook will strongly appeal to business-minded people. I'm almost always listening to audio books on long drives, and this is one of the best-read books I've heard. I probably would not have enjoyed reading this book nearly as much as I enjoyed listening to it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    thought provoking

    Hard to put this book down. Great, thought provoking read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    Not book worthy.

    I loved his other three books...but this one was hard to finish.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    Couldn't finish it...

    Not my style of book. I couldn't care less about the sub-topics it contained...i might as well have read marketing material about these products...boring!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Compelling

    Another very innovative and compelling book from Gladwell. The topics covered are diverse, but the overall point is -- like Gladwell's other books -- to get the reader to think about different topics in an entirely new way. In this regard, Gladwell succeeds. I always learn something new and ultimately, improve my own way of thinking.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2015

    Cat

    Last week

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2015

    Noah

    Whe did you die your tips red

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2014

    Room 2

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

    What the Dog Saw was an interesting insight on the different eve

    What the Dog Saw was an interesting insight on the different events that people have gone through and the stories behind them all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Great if you are into analysis

    Will read others by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2013

    I got this book in audio form and it's made for a fantastic driv

    I got this book in audio form and it's made for a fantastic drive. It's been fun, entertaining, and interesting. I wish I had bought it in book form as well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2013

    URGENT

    Katie locked out.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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