David and Goliath

David and Goliath

Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Book - 2013 | First edition
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Explore the power of the underdog in Malcolm Gladwell's dazzling examination of success, motivation, and the role of adversity in shaping our lives.
Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn't have won.

Or should he have?

In David and Goliath , Malcolm Gladwellchallenges 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.

Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath 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.

In the tradition of Gladwell's previous bestsellers--- The Tipping Point , Blink , Outliers and What the Dog Saw--- David and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, [2013]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316204361
Branch Call Number: 158.1 GLA 2013
Characteristics: 305 pages


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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.

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

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.

The race may not always be to the swift, nor the battle to the strong—but that's the way to bet.

Jul 02, 2019

Loved this and all of the interesting anecdotes.

Mar 24, 2019

Malcolm Gladwell offers an entirely different perspective to how disadvantages should be seen. Although some others had seen his writing biased or nebulous, that does not take away that fact that he surely knows how to tell a compelling story and make you relate to it. This book shows you that there is more than one way to realize your strongest skills even when it seems unlikely.

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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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