It is hard for me to not gush about someone who is living a life I would love to live. I guess I should feel jealous of him, but instead I just feel grateful to know that someone can live that life. And I really love his writing. He is a writer who never leaves his readers behind, who is always beautifully clear and who structures what he has to say in ways that not only compel you to go on reading, but also so he takes you by the hand and makes sure you are always alongside him.
Share via Email Ina history graduate at the University of Toronto upped sticks and moved to Indiana. The only thing left was writing — but it turned out that Malcolm Gladwell knows how to write. Gladwell owes his success to the trademark brand of social psychology he honed over a decade at the magazine.
His confident, optimistic pieces on the essence of genius, the flaws of multinational corporations and the quirks of human behaviour have been devoured by businessmen in search of a new guru.
His skill lies in turning dry academic hunches into compelling tales of everyday life: It makes for a handy crash course in the world according to Gladwell: Times are hard, good ideas are scarce: But more about that later.
Gladwell has divided his book into three sections. The first deals with what he calls obsessives and minor geniuses; the second with flawed ways of thinking. The third focuses on how we make predictions about people: There is depth to his research and clarity in his arguments, but it is the breadth of subjects he applies himself to that is truly impressive.
He bounds along from the inventors of automatic vegetable choppers and hair dye to Cesar Millan, the American "Dog Whisperer" behind the title piece, and Nassim Taleb, the US banker who turned his nose up at the investment strategies of George Soros and Warren Buffet and made himself a pile of money.
Gladwell is more than just a people person, though. His forensic dissection of the collapse of Enron and his survey of the causes of the Challenger space shuttle disaster manage to be fresh and compelling when you could be forgiven for thinking there was nothing left to say about the events.
Inevitably this becomes the world as Gladwell sees it through the eyes of others, but his cast of characters except perhaps in the case of the dog is strong enough to withstand the filter. The story of Murray Barr, which first appeared inis a classic.
Barr is a hopeless alcoholic who lives on the streets of Reno, Nevada, and spends more weekends than not in hospital or drying out in a police cell. He is a burden on the system, but that is the fault of the system, Gladwell argues.
When he is released, he starts all over again. Surely it would be cheaper — not to say more helpful — to give people like Barr a flat of their own, he suggests, to keep a watchful eye over them rather than leave them on the streets to rack up medical bills.
Why should someone who contributes so little to society be tossed the keys to a new home? Morality prefers equity, and rewards for doing nothing are inequitable. This is what Gladwell does best: Even when the patterns he identifies are spurious or the conclusions flawed, the arguments he raises are clear, provocative and important.
Before that, Blink drew flak for urging readers to go with their gut feelings, except when their gut feelings were wrong. Both books were spun out of articles Gladwell published in the New Yorker, and it is easy to see why they met with a mixed reaction.
One virtue of What the Dog Saw is that the pieces are perfectly crafted: It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think. Back to that warning. There is nothing new in this new book, but that is clear from the start. If you like, you can go there and read the original New Yorker articles, complete with beautiful layouts and cartoons.
You can even print them out and staple them together using an industrial stapler from the stationery cupboard at work. A trial run suggests that this could occupy an idle lunchtime.
It is a scenario that has the makings of a Gladwellian dilemma. Why buy the book if the content is free? And what does that say about me?
Is the feeling of being mugged by the publisher trumped by the virtue of convenience? The book is beautiful and brings together the writing that made Gladwell the extraordinary figure he is today.
That alone is worth paying something for, but if you want to avoid mental anguish it might be safer to buy it for someone else.“What the Dog Saw,” is an extremely stimulating book. Gladwell’s stories will stay with you for a long time after you finish reading his book.
The knowledge you gain will give you the curiosity and yearning to read another book from this knowledgeable and thorough researcher, observer-writer.
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What the Dog Saw challenges us to think like other people and see like other species. Some chapters are masterpieces in the art of the essay. He is so on target. What other writer, particularly a non-fiction writer, had four books on the best seller list at the same time? PAFPF: More than 1 year ago: Malcolm Gladwell is a supreme writer/5().
What the Dog Saw is a collection of essays by Malcom Gladwell, all of which were originally published in The New Yorker.
The essays are divided into three sections. The first is about what Gladwell calls "obsessives and minor geniuses," the second is about theories, and the third is .