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Book Review

‘David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants’

10/7/2015

Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell has developed a following with titles like “The Tipping Point” and “Outliers.” His newest book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants,” follows his familiar formula of combining scientific studies with personal stories to challenge conventional wisdom and readers’ assumptions about the world.

By Malcolm Gladwell Back Bay Books April 7, 2015 $18 352 Pages

By Malcolm
Gladwell
Back Bay Books
April 7, 2015
$18
352 Pages

Beginning with the biblical story of David and Goliath and progressing through Lawrence of Arabia and Martin Luther King Jr., Gladwell shows how underdogs have, throughout history, used false expectations to their advantage.

He doesn’t generalize or judge as he looks at “the advantages of disadvantages (and the disadvantages of advantages).” He examines the drive that financially disadvantaged children may develop and the corresponding lack of ambition in their progeny and follows up with studies showing that an unpredictably high proportion of very successful individuals lost a parent as a child as well as a high proportion of individuals in prison. Gladwell offers no explanation, leaving the reader to ponder what makes the difference.

Gladwell is an engaging writer who forces his readers to think and question. This book will appeal to fans of his earlier works and new readers alike. CV

HIV

Sally Wisdom retired from the Des Moines Public Library in 2011 and found her dream job at Beaverdale Books soon after.

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