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Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm…

Outliers: The Story of Success (edition 2011)

by Malcolm Gladwell

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11,520357330 (3.96)1 / 251
Title:Outliers: The Story of Success
Authors:Malcolm Gladwell
Info:Back Bay Books (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

  1. 70
    Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt (dste)
    dste: Another interesting book that looks at some ideas we think are right and turns them upside down.
  2. 40
    The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Anonymous user)
  3. 30
    The Drunkard's Walk : How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow (infiniteletters)
  4. 10
    The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation by Frans Johansson (edwinbcn)
  5. 10
    Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck (peter_vandenbrande)
    peter_vandenbrande: Beide auteurs benadrukken dat je talent moet ontwikkelen om succesvol te worden. Ze ondergraven allebei de mythe dat alleen geniale mensen de top kunnen bereiken. Carol Dweck werkt het hoe en waarom van deze "growth mindset" uit, Malcolm Gladwell nuanceert tegelijk de invloed van deze individuele inspanningen door "toeval" in het verhaal te brengen: hoe omstandigheden en toevallige kansen van invloed zijn op uiteindelijk succes.… (more)
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    Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton (peter_vandenbrande)
  7. 10
    The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How. by Daniel Coyle (infiniteletters)
  8. 00
    Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin (infiniteletters)
  9. 00
    Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success by Matthew Syed (ANeumann)
  10. 04
    Young Nietzsche by Carl Pletsch (galacticus)
    galacticus: Both books deal with genius. Gladwell touches on genius as a study in success, what it takes generally; Pletsch as a study of one mans desire to be a genius.
  11. 04
    De HR-ballon tien populaire praktijken doorprikt by Patrick Vermeren (peter_vandenbrande)

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English (348)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (355)
Showing 1-5 of 348 (next | show all)
Full disclosure: I am a retired research psychologist and my views are influenced by my professional training and decades of experience.

Malcolm Gladwell generally does a skillful job of reviewing the psychological and sociological research literature addressing important contemporary issues and preparing a readable summary for lay audiences. “Outliers” is a good example of his work. My reading preferences tend toward mysteries but after reading the early portions of “Outliers” I set aside the popular mystery I was reading to give priority to this book.

Gladwell’s writing is generally organized around compelling stories that illustrate significant psychological findings. In that respect, this and other Gladwell volumes are like a contemporary political speech. His generalizations from illustrative examples to general principles are designed to convince non-discriminating readers. Overstatement and oversimplification are rampant; balance and critical restraint are absent.

Gladwell’s thesis in “Outliers” is that individual differences that appear to be due to innate qualities are in fact the result of luck and differences in opportunity. He relies primarily on ex-post facto analyses.

The lives of successful individuals such as Robert Oppenheimer, Bill Gates, and other noteworthy individuals are examined and advantages or opportunities they enjoyed are identified. His own family is included as a further example. The relative advantages enjoyed by these individuals and are cited as the reasons for their accomplishments.

A balanced, carefully qualified treatment of the research evidence bearing on Gladwell’s thesis would result in a far less interesting a book but a much more nuanced conclusion. Gladwell made no effort to identify a sample of individuals who enjoyed the same advantages or opportunities and determine the range of outcomes. He ignores the countless, readily available examples, that run counter to his conclusion. Instead, the carefully selected stories seem designed to simplify a complex issue and convince readers of the validity of his thesis.

That is not to dismiss Gladwell’s work out of hand. The issue he raises is important and the evidence he cites should be carefully considered in the context of the more expansive body of evidence available. Although some readers may be inclined to take his conclusions at face value, thoughtful readers will recognize his conclusions and the supporting evidence as a meaningful starting point for a much more detailed, balanced analysis ( )
  Tatoosh | Jan 8, 2019 |
10,000 hours, that's all I need. ( )
  scottkirkwood | Dec 4, 2018 |
Exceptional...A Must Read.. ( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |
Not impressed. As I have no intention of becoming an author and I read a lot of non fiction books, I am often quite critical of authors' work because I can compare the books side by side.

Book chap 1: Your birth month matters??? So what if it matters? People are interested in developing themselves. Not some garbage info which make them feel inferior/superior based on the month they are born in

Book chap 2: 10000 hours. who doesn't know that? Who cares which yr you are born. sure some generation are better off but these are all just mere info which doesn't help the reader in anyway.

chap 3 on iq is okay but next fee chaps were irritating. You can't change your birth year so stop whining over it. No point telling us that some people success are based on their birth years. surely their Tenacity and passion also matter. ( )
  Jason.Ong.Wicky | Oct 9, 2018 |
I wept through parts of this book. It was good to see that someone had done research, and had some solid answers as to what gave impetus to my life. Remarkable work, and I suspect the apex of Gladwell's efforts. Others on Library Thing have done credible and excellent reviews, and there's no need for me to repeat them. This book brought me peace, and I'm grateful. ( )
  Lyndatrue | Sep 4, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 348 (next | show all)
“Outliers” has much in common with Gladwell’s earlier work. It is a pleasure to read and leaves you mulling over its inventive theories for days afterward. It also, unfortunately, avoids grappling in a few instances with research that casts doubt on those theories. This is a particular shame, because it would be a delight to watch someone of his intellect and clarity make sense of seemingly conflicting claims.
The world for Gladwell is a text that he reads as closely as he can in seeking to decode and interpret it. He is adept at identifying underlying trends from which he extrapolates to form hypotheses, presenting them as if they were general laws of social behaviour. But his work has little philosophical rigour. He's not an epistemologist; his interest is in what we think, rather than in the how and why of knowledge itself.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Guardian, Jason Cowley (Nov 23, 2008)
The book, which purports to explain the real reason some people — like Bill Gates and the Beatles — are successful, is peppy, brightly written and provocative in a buzzy sort of way. It is also glib, poorly reasoned and thoroughly unconvincing.
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Roseto Valfortore lies one hundred miles southeast of Rome in the Apennine foothills of the Italian province of Foggia.
out•li•er\-,lī(-ə)r\ noun
1: something that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or related body.
2: a statistical observation that is marked different in value from the others of the sample.
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Pretty good book to discuss some interesting phenomena in real life, and tries to find a reasonable explanation for them. It is good to read a book life this to discuss the success, by uncovering not so well-known facts like for Bill Gates, and some other people in computer science, which I have been learning by self-study for a long time.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316017922, Hardcover)

Amazon Best of the Month, November 2008: Now that he's gotten us talking about the viral life of ideas and the power of gut reactions, Malcolm Gladwell poses a more provocative question in Outliers: why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our cherished belief of the "self-made man," he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don't arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: "they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot." Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, he builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of advantages, "some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky."

Outliers can be enjoyed for its bits of trivia, like why most pro hockey players were born in January, how many hours of practice it takes to master a skill, why the descendents of Jewish immigrant garment workers became the most powerful lawyers in New York, how a pilots' culture impacts their crash record, how a centuries-old culture of rice farming helps Asian kids master math. But there's more to it than that. Throughout all of these examples--and in more that delve into the social benefits of lighter skin color, and the reasons for school achievement gaps--Gladwell invites conversations about the complex ways privilege manifests in our culture. He leaves us pondering the gifts of our own history, and how the world could benefit if more of our kids were granted the opportunities to fulfill their remarkable potential. --Mari Malcolm

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:07 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The best-selling author of Blink identifies the qualities of successful people, posing theories about the cultural, family, and idiosyncratic factors that shape high achievers, in a resource that covers such topics as the secrets of software billionaires, why certain cultures are associated with better academic performance, and why the Beatles earned their fame.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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