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Talking to Strangers

Talking to Strangers

What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know

Audiobook CD - 2019
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The popular podcast host and author explores how people interact with strangers and why these exchanges often go wrong, offering strategic tips for more accurate and productive interactions.
Publisher: [New York] : Hachette Audio, [2019]
Edition: Unabridged
Copyright Date: ℗2019
ISBN: 9781549150333
Call Number: CD 302 GLAD
Characteristics: 8 audio discs (approximately 8.5 hr.) : CD audio, digital ; 4 3/4 in
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PimaLib_JenM Jan 14, 2021

I always listen to Gladwell's books, since he does such a great job narrating, and this one is no exception. The added bonus of having audio from the people he interviewed makes this one feel like a long podcast episode, and since I'm also a podcast aficionado, I really liked it.

Jan 06, 2021

Wow. Gladwell delivers quality and insightful information, as usual. But, skip chapter 5 if you have a weak stomach.

Dec 04, 2020

Goodness. This is book is powerful and it is educational. Malcolm Gladwell's an intellectual, a writer and obviously a smart person. Broadly this book is probably a critique on modern policing in America, specifically as it relates to race. If that is true it does not beat you over the head with its message. There is a ton of subtlety and nuance. And there is loads of other stuff too. It features Hitler, the CIA, spies, Amanda Knox, Jerry Sandusky, frat parties and a lot of information on alcohol, how people lie or tell the truth among other things. The audio version is read by him and features high production values. It has music, audio effects, voice actors and even recordings of various people themselves. Galdwell's reading is fantastic. The theme song peppered throughout the book almost had me in tears at the very end.

Oct 12, 2020

One of Gladwell's best! Talking to Strangers has become even more relevant in 2020, the year of COVID, where the book's central topic, how to understand strangers, and police violence are once again at the forefront of the national conversation. Gladwell even devotes an entire section to the police training programs, and their subsequent disincentives, which eventually led to the explosive clashes with the police in 2020. The casual reader might be shocked to learn that police forces across the country have been trained to target suspicious activity in high-crime areas. In other words, police are trying to catch criminals before they commit wrongdoings. This has been shown to significantly reduce crime, which is what the public wants, but there are risks to this approach. The casual reader might have missed the warning embedded near the end where those who set up the program cautioned against deploying these tactics too broadly because then you run the risk of souring public relations without actually reducing crime at all. It was always a fine line to walk, and as 2020 has shown it's gotten out of hand.

The section on the police and crime reduction is only a piece of the larger puzzle when it comes to strangers. A powerful and often mentioned phrase is one defined early on, called "default to truth." It's the tendency to misread people who are ill-intentioned because the majority of us aren't predisposed to behave that way, and, this is perhaps the most important part, we don't want to believe in an evil world. I'm certainly guilty of defaulting to truth. I would like to believe I can successfully read someone's character by interacting with them in person, but the evidences suggest my biases would work against me. Even more disconcerting, it might be impossible to remove the bias entirely. As with the examples of the judges handing down bail rulings, programing an algorithm to review only the criminal record and comparing that with a judge who has access to the same criminal record AND meets the offender face-to-face, the algorithm outperformed the human the majority of the time.

Bonus recommendation: Listen to the audiobook if you can. Gladwell himself is the reader and his intent was to give "Talking To Strangers" the feel of a podcast. In some cases, there are actual recordings and in other cases, where recordings don't exist, voice actors are employed which give it an oral history feel. Gladwell 100% nails it with this production.

JCLAmandaAW Jul 10, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. After listening to it I read some reviews and people were unhappy with what they felt was a lack of resolution to the issues Gladwell brought up in the book. I considered these points that we maybe do not have answers for but deserve some additional contemplation. I also appreciated that Gladwell used the actual audio clips of people discussing various topics rather than simply quoting them. Overall this audiobook was one of my favorites.


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Nov 26, 2019

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Explorations of how to catch child molesters could be triggering for those with a history

Nov 26, 2019

Sexual Content: Explorations of how to catch child molesters could be triggering for those with a history


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Nov 26, 2019

libraryeri thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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