So this is the fourth book I have read by Malcolm Gladwell. I read it in less than a day and it was genuinely hard to put down.
Sadly, I am not a big fan of the author’s style. I do like the core of his ideas but the writing style grates a lot. North America centric and what appears to be analysis that is overly rooted in middle class privilege. That is despite his subject matter looking at almost everything but that cohort of humanity. Or maybe not – I cannot decide and that is where my difficulties lie. The choices of example and how they are presented appear to me to be more like proselytising than an unbiased examination of facts. I find some of his arguments by example worrying.
I do like the subject matter and the footnotes a whole lot more.
The book makes a case for some counter-intuitive understanding of how and why the strong are beaten by the weak. The most important thing I got from the book is to make sure that any analysis of “weak” or “strong” is done from an independent standpoint and with a deep understanding of the circumstances that influence relative strength. The next best thing from the book was to understand that we have to work hard to understand ourselves if we want to get the best out of our lives. Something that should be obvious but is easy to forget when trying to live our daily lives.
Oddly, but at the same time quite common, this book refers to other books I have read recently. In this case Seven Pillars of Wisdom by TE Lawrence.