Another thought provoking Gladwell

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants - Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell brings stories of the underdogs to life in this book explaining why and how they triumph. Thinking outside the box, perseverance, and history of adversity are his primary explanations for how people can triumph. His ideas are good and generally easier to get your head around then trying to understand the social scientists views on resilience.


"There is a set of advantages that have to do with material resources, and there is a set that have to do with the absence of material resources—and the reason underdogs win as often as they do is that the latter is sometimes every bit the equal of the former."


In this work Gladwell is enamored with the inverted U curve - essentially the Law of Diminishing returns - throughout the book. His data is solid and intriguing for class sizes and family income impact on parenting.

"The inverted-U curve reminds us that there is a point at which money and resources stop making our lives better and start making them worse."


Gladwell makes wonderful arguments about the importance of legitimacy of authority and, as always, ably illustrates it with a number of stories ranging from Northern Ireland, WW2 France, and the US Civil Rights movement in the south.


"power has an important limitation. It has to be seen as legitimate, or else its use has the opposite of its intended effect."


I especially love this quote - "The excessive use of force creates legitimacy problems, and force without legitimacy leads to defiance, not submission." 

Remind anyone else of Goodreads?