“It is not easy to be so honest about where we’re from. It would be simpler for my mother to portray her success as a straightforward triumph over victimhood,… Bill Gates could accept the title of genius, and leave it at that. …It is impossible for a hockey player, or Bill Joy, or Robert Oppenheimer, or any other outlier for that matter, to look down from their lofty perch and say with truthfulness, ‘I did this, all by myself.’ …Their success is not exceptional or mysterious….The outlier, in the end, is not an outlier at all.”
Dedicated to his extraordinary grandmother Daisy, Malcolm Gladwell delivers the most intriguing explanation of why the people we see as successful are a result of many other unexpected factors. I was enthralled. Every page.
Each chapter sheds new light on our small-minded view of the world. Why the people of Roseto, PA were healthier than the rest of the nation. How the Beatles became experts in the music industry. The reason IQ makes little difference when faced with other distinctions. ‘The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes’ introduces cultural differences, and is continued with a theory that Asians might appear to be better at math than the rest of us.
I had my own revelation reading about Harlan, KY. Being a Missouri girl, regardless of what you say, I’ll claim I’m from the South any day of the week. Gladwell proves me right by highlighting the Irish/Scottish history of the badlands, and why I have my temper (which may or may not come from my father and his Irish roots). I’m telling you – and many will agree – to go find this book. It will make you look at the world at least a bit differently than you do today.
“It’s hard to resist Malcolm Gladwell….Reading one of his books is like sitting at the kitchen table while he runs about his house, pulling research studies out of file cabinets, thick biographies off bookshelves, and spreadsheets from his laptop. ‘Check this out!’ he exclaims, and ‘Can you believe this one?!’ Then he gets serious. ‘You know how important this is, don’t you?’ he asks….Ultimately, Outliers is a book about the twentieth century. It offers a fascinating look at how certain people become successful.” – Rebecca Steinitz, Boston Globe