The Story of Success

Book - 2008
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In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316017923
Branch Call Number: ANF 302.14 GLA
Characteristics: ix, 309 p. ; 21 cm


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Feb 11, 2019

This book gives you a golden opportunity to expand your world view, knowledge and outlook on success. Learning that success is truly, by fact, a mixture of luck, circumstance and hard work can be a relief. We learn that some things like what day you were born or what religion you are is out of your control, but you can always put in 1000 hours of practice into what you love, after all practice makes perfect. I would give this book a 5/5. I loved it. It was well researched, and the information was well presented. You never get bored and always finish a chapter wanting to dive in deeper; not that we would expect anything less form Gladwell.
@Pandora of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Dec 28, 2018

This book offers great insights to *hidden* factors behind success. It shows very well how arbitrary decisions while designing some rules lead to an advantage bias for some subset of people. I highly recommend this book.

Going into this book with an uninterested mindset, I was quickly convinced otherwise. This book ended up to be a pleasant, captivating surprise after finishing the first few chapters. Beginning with the concept of opportunity, Malcolm Gladwell finishes off with cultural legacies in this two-part book. From explaining the success of The Beatles to finding out why Asians are good at math, the author covers a variety of topics to explain the phenomenal lives of outliers. I enjoyed reading this book, for it provides a great deal of information in a riveting manner. I would recommend this book to young adults. I believe that they would enjoy and relate to this book.

Aug 22, 2018

I approached this book after greatly enjoyed Gladwell's "Revisionists History" podcast. He writes very similarly to the way he speaks. Outliers answers the questions I didn't know I have about social perception and factors of success. Gladwell keeps the book from drying by using a variety of stories which makes my baby-steps into non-fiction a lot more enjoyable.

DBRL_LyndseyR Apr 20, 2018

After watching a Ted Talk by Malcolm Gladwell several years ago, I’ve been wanting to read "Outliers". I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did! Our idea of successful people is so focused on the individual’s natural talents, that we never consider where they come from or how opportunity and luck play a role. Gladwell uses everything from professional hockey players to billionaire's to challenge the way we view success. There is no doubt that I will be referencing this book for years to come.

Jan 16, 2018

This is one of the few books I've read that I remember.
I've told many people about this.

Dec 05, 2017

This was a really great book.

Aug 29, 2017

Loved reading this book. I don't believe in all his hypothesis though. A different line of thinking for sure.

May 27, 2017

Thoroughly enjoyable read and narration... even the second time. He has struck upon a truth universally ignored in our money, fame and celebrity obsessed culture. Intriguing.

May 15, 2017

Outliers is a book to make you question your assumptions about life, and about people who are pre-eminent in their fields. Gladwell, a Canadian, is a writer for The New Yorker, so, of course, his book is both thoughtful and highly readable. He is not so much a researcher, as a thinker who reads the research of others, connects seemingly unrelated ideas, then show the patterns throughout. Some of the ideas covered in this book are so well-know that many of us are already familiar with them, either because of Gladwell's writings or because other journalists used the same sources.

Outliers examines so-called "successful" people, and shows that, while hard work and focus are important elements in their achievements, other factors -- essentially, being in the right place at the right time with the right background -- are immensely important. He illustrates this with numerous examples showing, for instance, that if you speak Chinese, Korean, or Japanese, you'll have a major head start in counting and in doing math in you head over speakers of European languages, and, that the legendary figures of Silicone Valley were all born within about three years, and, as teenagers, had access to computers not dreamed of by others. We learn why, unless your kids are rare exceptions such as Sydney Crosby , you can forget about them becoming NHL players if they wasn't born in the first half of the year. (Do your own research this by looking up hockey players' birthdays on Wikipedia.)

Outliers is a healthy antidote to the many business and self-help books promising that you can will, meditate, pray, or visualize your way to fame and fortune. Gladwell even uses his own history to show us that flukiness is an important factor in defining our reach and limitations, and in determining how well we do in life.

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Oct 17, 2018

"... the Beatles didn't recoil in horror when they were told they had to play eight hours a night, seven days a week [for early gigs in Germany]. They jumped at the chance. Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you [successful] ...". (p. 150)

Dec 15, 2011

To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success – the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history – with a society that provides opportunities for all.

Nov 05, 2009

... and no one - not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses - ever makes it alone.

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Aug 16, 2018

hawkinsc thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Oct 17, 2018

"... We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally [into existence] ... But that's the wrong lesson. ... To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success ... with a society that provides opportunities for all. ... The outlier, in the end, is not an outlier at all." (p. 268, 285)


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