David and Goliath

David and Goliath

Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Book - 2013
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This book uncovers the hidden rules that shape the balance between the weak and the mighty and the powerful and the dispossessed. In it the author challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks. He begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy (David and Goliath) those many years ago. From there, the book examines Northern Ireland's Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms, all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity. -- From book jacket.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, [2013]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316204361
Characteristics: ix, 305 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm


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Aug 13, 2018

It's more malcolm being malcolm. Not science- just Gladwell ranting, which is fun. Some of his ideas you'll have thought of, some probably not.
I was glad to see a reminder of the if-you're-#20-you'll-try-a-LOT-harder dynamic. There are some fun examples.
If you like this kind of thing you won't really care of what excuse he comes up with to rant more. Or look for him to prove a contention, because he never did, does, or will do.

acardona305 Nov 19, 2017

Malcolm Gladwell applies the story of David and Goliath to many recent situations in society where the underdog uses unconventional tactics to come out on top. The book begins with many stories that can be considered shocking, given the great lengths some of these well-known individuals went to. The stories open your eyes to the possibility that breaking convention more often not can lead to success given the right circumstances. A good read but much of the book's impact wanes in the third part of the book.

Sep 03, 2017

"David and Goliath," by Gladwell will make you think - and that is why I like it. I think Gladwell takes some of his suppositions a little too far with very little support, but I also think that he would want you, even encourage you, to be a critical reader. Goliath may have been at a disadvantage to David's mobility and deadly sling, but I would guess that young David was shaking in his sandals. He is still an underdog hero to me.

Feb 09, 2017

I always feel I benefit from reading a Malcom Gladwell book. He definitely makes one take a look at long held beliefs that don't hold up under scrutiny. Most likely this one will need an updated version in a few years (4 to 8 to be exact)!

Jun 18, 2016

This was difficult material to read at times (dark and disturbing), but very interesting and insightful. The research that went into David and Goliath's famous battle is fascinating! Gladwell proves that good things can indeed come from bad.

Jun 05, 2016

As an individual that struggles with mental illness, conceptualizing an enjoyable future, and feeling less than competent against all the odds, this book has definitely shifted the focus and shed some light on many of life's unexpected occurrences. Although I found myself disappointed in the discovery that - in comparison to one of Malcom Gladwell's other books, Blink - I was not actively applying the intelligence to my own conscious mind, I still walked away with several insights. Even if you are not interested in psychology and the intricacies of human existence, the thought provoking stories and perspectives depicted in David & Goliath provides an over-arching theme of self-empowerment despite adversity.

britprincess1ajax May 09, 2016

Malcolm Gladwell does it again. This book deals with confusion about power dynamics, specifically our false albeit commonly held perceptions of how wealth, brute strength, and status factor into power (and, in fact, are weaknesses instead). This book is well structured. My only complaint? Simply not long enough. I'm always left wanting more from Gladwell and it (understandably) takes him ever so long to write another. Can't wait for whatever he's writing next. I highly recommend DAVID AND GOLIATH to everyone, as well as his previous bestsellers OUTLIERS, THE TIPPING POINT, and BLINK.

Jan 26, 2016

Disappointing. Suspect pressure by publisher for Gladwell to produce. Disconnected and poorly framed arguments that seemed to have more agenda than insight. Thought well of Tipping Point, but regretted the time I invested in reading this beyond the first chapter.

Dale A Youngman
Dec 09, 2015

This is an easy read that challenges your thinking. I read it in two sittings. Lots of food for thought that will broaden your perspective and encourage creativity.

Nov 29, 2015

His best book so far. I earned a lot about things i my past and how they influenced me. I would rate it G.

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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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