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David and Goliath

David and Goliath

Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

eBook - 2013
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Uncovers the hidden rules that shape the balance between the weak and the mighty and the powerful and the dispossessed.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, [2013]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316251068
Characteristics: 1 online resource (ix, 305 pages) : illustrations

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Nov 01, 2020

Always enjoyable and interesting read from Malcolm Maxwell!

Oct 09, 2020

“We spend a lot of time thinking about the ways that prestige and resources and belonging to elite institutions make us better off. We don’t spend enough time thinking about the ways in which those kinds of material advantages limit our options.”⁣

David and Goliath, at its root, is the story of an underdog. The giant Goliath, skilled at close combat, believes that he is invincible but is killed by David, a lowly shepherd, from at a distance. ⁣

In this book, Gladwell argues that David’s success stems from his desperation and ability to break social norms. Because he has no chance of winning if he observes the custom of close combat and because he is already low on the social ladder, he is able to resolve the fight in a surprising way. ⁣

Besides “breaking the social norm,” Gladwell also investigates the causes of a range of underdog success stories⁣

For example, why do some children’s learning outcomes deteriorate rather than improve when the class size becomes smaller? Why can bombings increase civilian optimism rather than destroy it? Why would some people reach their long-term goals better by NOT attending the best school they get into? Can disadvantages such as dyslexia act as a positive influence? ⁣

In short, Gladwell encourages us to question our intuitive understanding of advantages and disadvantages as well as the source of these definitions: ⁣

“Our definition of what is right is... simply the way that people in positions of privilege close the door on those on the outside.”

For more book and movie reviews, visit me on Instagram @ RandomStuffIRead :)

Sep 30, 2020

David and Goliath is a nonfiction book by Malcolm Gladwell. In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell analyzes the puzzling ways that weak can defeat strong, that David can defeat Goliath. Through well written examples Malcolm Gladwell reveals some counterintuitive ideas about things such as crime and education. He shows that there are exceptions to rules by outlining the principle inverted u curve. Some things like lower class sizes are beneficial but only to a certain point where decreasing class size too much will actually yield worse results. This book combines an interesting topic with Malcolm Gladwell’s captivating writing and story telling to produce a fascinating work. I would give David and Goliath four out of five stars.
@Nessie of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Sep 09, 2020

An excellent and very readable book, containing profound truth. I cannot see how this book can't have a wide appeal, especially to those who sense particularly that they have been up against it.

Feb 21, 2020

A meandering tour of well crafted, interesting, but somewhat thin anecdotes (and accompanying interpretations) on the theme of asymmetric challenges and conflicts (and how to win them). I perhaps would have rated this higher had I not read some of Malcolm Gladwell’s other books (Outliers, Blink, Ect). However, having done so, David and Goliath felt like nothing so much as Malcolm Gladwell rewriting the same book, or -perhaps more precisely- writing to the same book template with this being one of the weaker instances. As an example, the gimmick of ‘meanwhile back at the ranch’ (switching between anecdotes/illustrative stories at their cliff hanger-esque inflection points) felt especially overused and tiresome though this is just one of a number of prose tics that help propel his books that felt especially trite in this one. I still got a lot out of the book; I enjoyed his thoughts on legitimacy, the diminishing marginal returns/U shaped curve where the application of more _ [money, power, force] has counter productive effects effects, how hardship & near misses can produce exceptional people and states of mind (if it doesn’t wreck a person) and his continual illustration (in multiple arenas) that -to ‘win’ in the less powerful position requires a certain muscled disagreeableness coupled with an utter refusal to play the game by the ‘rules’ (as distinct from following the laws). But the book was thin on data, heavy on anecdotes (which seemed uncomfortably conscripted into the shape of a gangly book rather than natural bedfellows), and the insight/interest per page was almost (but never quite) enough to make me abandon the thing. Technically, I listened to the Audiobook version and can say that Malcolm Gladwell is an accomplished reader of his own work.

Jan 28, 2020

I read Talking to Strangers and want to read all of his now.

Jan 27, 2020

Unable to sync with me Kobo e-reader help pls

Jan 17, 2020

Chapter 2

Nov 04, 2019

Good read, provides reader with the idea to persevere through all situations. Not a religious book, although the title can be interpret that way.

Aug 31, 2019

Language warning. If listening to the audio book be aware that there are a few swear words when the author is quoting someone - including 3 F-bombs.

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May 19, 2015

“We have become obsessed with what is good about small classrooms and oblivious about what also can be good about large classes. It’s a strange thing isn't it, to have an educational philosophy that thinks of the other students in the classroom with your child as competitors for the attention of the teacher and not allies in the adventure of learning.”

May 19, 2015

“Giants are not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness.”

Apr 08, 2015

When people in authority want the rest of us to behave, it matters – first and foremost – how _they_ behave.


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bpl_biblio Nov 27, 2015

bpl_biblio thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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May 19, 2015

A really insightful vision of the benefits and disadvantages of being a small fish in a big pond, or of the opposite.


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