Wednesday, 27 November 2013

David & Goliath: Underdogs, misfits and the art of battling giants by Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell is one of those writers whose carefully chosen words fall over you like a patina of erudite wisdom. But don’t think you’ll be in for a dull ride. His bright, breezy books are the polar opposite to scholarliness. A journalist by trade, he has an exceptional talent for making connections between ideas, pulling together a collection of disparate stories to create fascinating insights into contemporary life.

In his latest offering, he examines the relationship between the strong and the weak, the powerful and the oppressed, and, of course, revisits that famous day when the small shepherd boy confronted the colossus Roman soldier and won. Turning cultural myths on their head is his forte. In David & Goliath, he tackles issues that range across military might, crime and punishment, IRA terrorism, school failure, the fight to cure leukaemia, and the fortitude of bereaved children. The powerful or advantaged aren’t always the ones to come out on top, he argues, as sometimes adversity can bear fruit with surprising results.

While Gladwell is always engaging and has a fantastic ability to turn black and white into dazzling shades of grey, David & Goliath is, unfortunately, not up to his usual standard. I found his previous books Outliers: The Story of Success and The Tipping Point to be much more enjoyable reads as they both possess a greater unified theme and sense of flow. His books are always invigorating, however, as he allows his trademark curiosity to travel the world and shine a spotlight on diverse corners of society.   Gladwell's books are definitely worth a dip into.

Reviewed by Spot

Catalogue Link: David & Goliath

Read More: Author’s website

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