David and Goliath, the latest book by Malcolm Gladwell is a fascinating read ( or listen – I did the audio book). The subtitle of the book tells the real story for us: Underdogs, Misfits and The Art of Battling Giants.
Gladwell puts forth his proposition that what propels a man or woman to higher achievement, greater strengths and clearer understanding often comes from what might have been perceived as a disadvantage, a suffering, an oppression or even a loss. When one is affected by dyslexia for example, as Gladwell illustrates by an calling to mind an unusually high number of CEO’s like Richard Branson, Charles Schwab and Brian Glazer, they have succeeded and achieved because they learned to work around their difficulties reading.
Twelve of our 44 U.S. Presidents, including George Washington and Barack Obama lost their fathers. What is the impact of the tragic loss of a parent? Is it a formula for leadership?
Gladwell takes a close look at many assumptions about Civil Rights, crime, medical research and cancer treatment and law enforcement philosophies like “Three Strikes and You’re Out”.
I found the book thought provoking, insightful and very hard to ever put down. Although some of the ideas presented were compelling, I would like further data to back up Gladwell’s conclusions. Though correct and factual within his defined study, say prison terms, for example, concluding that intensifying enforcement seems to lead to revolt and has diminishing effect on deterring crime didn’t seem like the summary I’d expect or desire. To me, returning ANY felon to society is a risk and deserves more study which ought to include capital punishment as a way to REMOVE the rapist or murderer. That topic was not hashed out completely here.
There are many insightful and stimulating topics which all serve to illustrate the David conquering Goliath story and I for one, am all for the underdog. So, write on Malcolm Gladwell! I love to be motivated and inspired. David and Goliath did that for me. I highly recommend it and I’ll give it 2 Thumbs Up!