**spoiler alert** "Outliers: The story of success" is a book in which, Malcolm Gladwell makes some cogent arguments regarding hard work, being in the...more**spoiler alert** "Outliers: The story of success" is a book in which, Malcolm Gladwell makes some cogent arguments regarding hard work, being in the right place at the right time with a mixture of environmental determinants that all come together to create for extraordinary individual achievements. However, some of his arguments are less convincing than others.
I suppose it is true that it does in fact, "take a village" in concert with favorable milieu of environmental, social and economic conditions which encourage an individual to thrive.
The book's progression was fluid until the final pages when Gladwell injected his family's personal history and sort of clunked at the end with his closing remark; a self-focused query - arguably a personal representation for his books basic premise.
While Gladwell is no doubt, successful in his own right, to borrow from Lloyd Benson during his vice-presidential debate with Dan Quayle when he quipped, 'You are no John Kennedy [in this case, 'Malcolm Gladwell is no Bill Gates':] - maybe Gladwell was referring to the 10,000 hours??
The book seemed to stop when a certain predetermined number of pages had been written. Thus, its end seemed quick, abrupt and therefore, incomplete.
Considering what I just wrote about Gladwell, you might not think I'd be recommending it, I am. His work is entertaining and thought provoking enough for me that i have already picked up his book, 'The Tipping Point.' Gladwell is a good information gatherer so his work is as much entertaining for me as it is a resource for further examination.
I still maintain that so much is happening in our world that the people who can gather the information, make the appropriate connections and assimilate it all are the people who are indispensable because they are connecting the dots for the rest of us.(less)
This is one of my favorite books - and it is not even fiction.
Goleman has such a depth and breadth of knowledge that it is impossible to get everythin...moreThis is one of my favorite books - and it is not even fiction.
Goleman has such a depth and breadth of knowledge that it is impossible to get everything he is saying in one single reading.
This book is such a powerful reference on understanding how people function in society that I often find myself looking up something or another that Daniel Goleman writes about when I read any given book.
This writer's ability to glean so much information is nothing short of incredible. Goleman has the ability to assimilate information and that is what I enjoy most.
The book may be a little old but, I keep it handy and it never loses its intellectual luster - now matter how dusty it gets.
His writing style is easy and he uses fancy words appropriately and with elegance without sounding pedantic. I suppose this is because he has subordinated himself to the topic at hand. Consequently, his loyalty to the subject of emotional intelligence makes it even more credible. (less)
I originally thought Goleman's Emotional Intelligence was his best work. Now I am not so certain. Comparing the two books, the most notable difference...moreI originally thought Goleman's Emotional Intelligence was his best work. Now I am not so certain. Comparing the two books, the most notable difference between the two has to do with the first book's style as being more authoritative. I think this is because Goleman was on new ground. He was explaining the emergent science of emotional intelligence.
Social Intelligence offers a more relaxed delivery regarding how the brain works in social interactions. It also offers insight regarding group think. I have found it useful in dealing with my students, coworkers, and as a resource for some of my writing material. (less)
Dr. Payne offers outstanding discourse on variations in socioeconomic outlooks and perspectives. I used this quite a bit when dealing with offenders i...moreDr. Payne offers outstanding discourse on variations in socioeconomic outlooks and perspectives. I used this quite a bit when dealing with offenders in my work as a probation-parole officer.
Payne has an uncanny ability to vet out subtle cultural nuances and how they relate to one's world-view. I highly recommend this book as a quick study for understanding the things people do - things which might otherwise leave you bewildered.
Now, I understand that there are some folks who dismiss this book as soft on research and even damning of poor people I don't see it that way and I think such detractors are really missing the Dr. Payne's point.
There is a reason for everything people do. From a sociological perspective, outward appearances don't fully explain why people behave as they do if we fail to take social context into account. Dr. Payne does an exemplary job of providing insights to meet people on a plane where they define the terms of their existence rather than attempting to make them 'fit' neatly into 'ours'.
That is where people are missing the mark; they are invoking their particular world view to make sense out of worlds that have nothing in common with their own. Yet others are put off owing to feelings of being marginalized by what they consider being labeled since they are a member of the group being described. My response is that we have to start somewhere and it is easy to criticize any body of work when we act to dismiss whatever tends to make us feel uncomfortable. My suggestion is to lay our prejudices (both for or against) the topic of study and try to see if any of it makes sense when personal bias is filtered out of the scheme.
The book is slightly academic in nature - Dr. Payne is an educator after all - but, by no means is this book a difficult read. It is quite short and could easily be completely read in one sitting. It is the kind of book that makes you think so, you will most likely be re-reading and using it as a reference book.
What you will find most intriguing about the book is its ability to accurately depict the intricacies of social systems - both within their own context - and, moreover what happens when socioeconomic worlds collide. (less)