Paula LaRocque's Reviews > Outliers: The Story of Success

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
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's review
Aug 28, 2010

really liked it

Malcolm Gladwell’s genius is for exploring questions most of us never think to ask – and for finding fascinating answers in unexpected connections and relationships. His book Outliers asks why some people achieve enormous success while others of equal or even surpassing intelligence, talent, and skill fail – or at least fail to achieve.

Gladwell, who also wrote the best-sellers The Tipping Point and Blink, makes an intriguing assertion: Those who claim to be self-made are not but are rather the result of good luck, good timing, culture, circumstance and – most important – almost endless practice. To support his thesis, Gladwell examines the histories of a handful of superstars as varied as Mozart and Bill Gates.

Along the way, we’re treated to engaging questions – such as how many hours of practice it takes to become a master at a certain skill. Or why so many pro hockey stars were born in January. Or why Jewish immigrant workers in the garment industry gave birth to New York’s most celebrated and powerful lawyers. All of Gladwell’s answers are not equally persuasive, but his questions and observations are so interesting that the answers are sometime almost beside the point.

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