From the bestselling author of Blink and The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success overturns conventional wisdom about genius to show us what makes an ordinary person an extreme overachiever. Why do some people achieve so much more than others? Can they lie so far out of the ordinary? In this provocative and inspiring book, Malcolm Gladwell looks at everyone from rock stars to professional athletes, software billionaires to scientific geniuses, to show that the story of success is far more surprising, and far more fascinating, than we could ever have imagined. He reveals that it's as much about where we're from and what we do, as who we are - and that no one, not even a genius, ever makes it alone. Outliers will change the way you think about your own life story, and about what makes us all unique. "Gladwell is not only a brilliant storyteller; he can see what those stories tell us, the lessons they contain". (Guardian). "Malcolm Gladwell is a global phenomenon ...he has a genius for making everything he writes seem like an impossible adventure." (Observer). "He is the best kind of writer - the kind who makes you feel like you're a genius, rather than he's a genius". (The Times). Author, journalist, cultural commentator and intellectual adventurer, Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine. His first book The Tipping Point captured the world's attention with its theory that a curiously small change can have unforeseen effects. His other international bestselling books are Outliers, which looks at the stories of exceptional individuals and reveals the secrets of their success, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking and What The Dog Saw, a collection of his most provocative and entertaining New Yorker pieces.
Amazon Best of the Month, November 2008: Now that he's gotten us talking about the viral life of ideas and the power of gut reactions, Malcolm Gladwell poses a more provocative question in Outliers: why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our cherished belief of the "self-made man," he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don't arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: "they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot." Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, he builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of advantages, "some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky."
Outliers can be enjoyed for its bits of trivia, like why most pro hockey players were born in January, how many hours of practice it takes to master a skill, why the descendents of Jewish immigrant garment workers became the most powerful lawyers in New York, how a pilots' culture impacts their crash record, how a centuries-old culture of rice farming helps Asian kids master math. But there's more to it than that. Throughout all of these examples--and in more that delve into the social benefits of lighter skin color, and the reasons for school achievement gaps--Gladwell invites conversations about the complex ways privilege manifests in our culture. He leaves us pondering the gifts of our own history, and how the world could benefit if more of our kids were granted the opportunities to fulfill their remarkable potential. --Mari Malcolm