Tuesday, October 1, 2013

David and Goliath - Malcolm Gladwell !!

Malcolm Gladwell's new book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants is out today !! Bought it already but have to wait until tonight to start.

Among our tablet-toting, Foreign Policy-reading, Foucault-citing cultural elites, Gladwell’s name is rarely mentioned without a hint of ironising disdain. Everyone reads him, but it’s just not cool to admit you’re a fan.

When lists of “Most Influential Thinkers” are put together, Gladwell rarely makes the top cut. Now, this may be just because he’s considered a populariser, rather than an original thinker. Yet one can accept this and still make the case that he has been, over the last decade, our most important public intellectual. He has changed popular ideas about how ideas spread or how cognition works. He has also created a whole new cultural genre.

Non-fiction, ideas-based narratives are everywhere these days, but the space was opened up by the stunning success of The Tipping Point and Blink. Note that I said “cultural” rather than “publishing” genre, because the genre he spawned is cross-platform and multi-dimensional, and it has seeped into the very grain of our lives. Without Gladwell, no Daniel Pink, no Steven Johnson, no Kahneman-as-best-selling-author-rather-than-respected-but-obscure-academic; no Freakonomics, no Brainpicker, no TED. I exaggerate, but only slightly. Gladwell has done more than anyone else to turn ideas into one of the most valuable currencies of the internet age.

- In Praise of Malcolm Gladwell 

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