Camzcam's Reviews > Outliers: The Story of Success

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
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May 11, 11


This is a fascinating book about the statistics of success. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but Gladwell is such a great story-teller that he makes even statistics sound fascinating. His work as a New Yorker columnist is obvious in the book since every chapter reads more as a stand-alone piece than a cohesive whole, but there are things that build and tie from front to end. He picks apart various brilliantly successful individuals in a variety of fields...from NHL Hockey players to Bill Gates to The Beatles. He shows repeating patterns to any kind of success...things like being born in the right window of opportunity, the 10,000 hour rule, the influence of your history and culture on success. Ultimately, his point is that sure...enormously successful people work hard for their success, but they are also a product of series of opportunities determined by luck or even sometimes by adversity. Even though this is a book about statistics, it is told through human drama, tragedy, and triumph. I do think the last third of the book is a little weak...correlation is not causation and his evidence and research doesn't seem as thorough as in earlier parts of the book. Still...this is one of the most interesting things I have read in a long time.
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