Monday, May 4, 2009

Book Review Mondays

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Outliers: The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, PhD.

In his 320-page book (only 180 of text according to one reviewer's estimate), Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell, a professional writer, has woven together an exceedingly interesting story. He is a terrific writer, a fact well illustrated in both Blink and The Tipping Point. His thesis is that to be successful in life, upbringing, culture, luck, and privilege matter. He debunks the myth that high intelligence or where you were educated are of concern. Success has everything to do with "practical intelligence," along with your willingness to put in the 10,000 hours of practice required to reach mastery in your field. The information related to "practical intelligence" can be found in Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence (a book I highly recommend). If you aren't familiar with some of Gladwell's ideas or topics, you will find this book a good introduction or starting point. If you're looking for a book that includes original research, deep analysis, or the support of other writers and thinkers on the topic (e.g., opinions, quotations, testimony, or references), this is not the book for you because Gladwell is not a social scientist, nor is he a journalist or deep thinker. However, if its a light, fluffy read to which you are attracted, this might be a good choice.


Through our reading, researching, and writing, And Then Some Publishing (and our extended family of readers) mine volumes of books representing a wide variety of tastes. We use the books in our writing, test and try suggested techniques, and we read for enjoyment as well. We wouldn't spend the time reviewing the books if we didn't get something out of it. Read more reviews on other fantastic books at our BookWorks website.

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