(Oct. 2014) “We need to remember that our definition of what is right is, as often as not, simply the way that people in positions of privilege close the door on those on the outside. David has nothing to lose, and because he has nothing to lose, he has the freedom to thumb his nose at the rules set by others.”
Another wonderful book by Malcolm Gladwell, author of “Blink”, “The Tipping Point” and “Outliers” – all of which I loved. He uses such a wide range of examples to make his point about how we often misread disadvantage and disability as a weakness rather than a strength. As the story of David and Goliath illustrates, strength and weaknesses are often situational, and we can overlook how a strength in one situation can become a weakness in another. That metaphor is used throughout the book to great effect.
The book is well researched and Gladwell again takes recognizable people and situations and shows us how to view those familiar stories through a different lens. One example of that is how the Germans misread how the people of London would be affected by relentless bombing of the city. Rather than paralyze the city’s residents, those who experienced “near misses” became more courageous with every bombing they escaped.
Gladwell cites the work of other researchers and does extensive interviews himself. Some people profiled in the book are readily familiar and others are not. He weaves their stories into his overarching themes and the result is an exciting and engaging book that makes his concepts simple, accessible and easily explained to others.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.