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Outliers :  The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers

The Story of Success

Paperback

Published: June 2009
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'A fizzingly entertaining and enlighting book' Daily Mail

'Gladwell is not only a brilliant storyteller; he can see what those stories tell us, the lessons they contain' Guardian

Why do some people achieve so much more than others?
Can they lie so far out of the ordinary?

In his provocative and inspiring new book, Malcolm Gladwell looks at everyone from rock stars to professional athletes, software billionaires to scientific geniuses, to show that the story of success is far more surprising, than we could ever have imagined. He reveals that it's as much about where we're from and what we do, as who we are - and that no one, not even a genius, ever makes it alone.

Outliers will change the way you think about your own life story, and about what makes us all unique.

'Malcolm Gladwell is a global phenomenon . . . he has a genius for making everything he writes seem like an impossible adventure'
Observer

'Exceptionally well-written . . . I wanted to cheer or clap'
Evening Standard

'Gladwell deploys a wealth of fascinating data and information'
Financial Times

'He is the best kind of writer - the kind who makes you feel like you're a genius, rather than that he's a genius'
The Times

About The Author

Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996. In 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of three books: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), and Outliers: The Story of Success (2008), all of which were number one New York Times bestsellers.

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Outliers
 
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5.0

Unsettling

By Booklover

from Sydney Australia

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Challenging
  • Deeply Informative
  • Easy To Understand
  • Groundbreaking Research
  • Innovative Ideas
  • Revolutionary
  • Rich Resource
  • Thought provoking
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Educators
    • Parents
    • Reference

    Comments about Outliers:

    Looks at education from different angles and perspectives. Lots of conclusive support research for theories proposed.

    Comment on this review

    You will never again think as you did before about [success] ... This book deserves the gold star that adorns its front cover The Times Malcolm Gladwell is a cerebral and jaunty writer, with an unusual gift for making the complex seem simple Observer Makes geniuses look a bit less special, and the rest of us a bit more so Time Gladwell deploys a wealth of fascinating data and information to illustrate his thesis ... Outliers challenges accepted wisdom FT

    INTRODUCTION: The Roseto Mystery

    'These people were dying of old age. That's it.'

    outlier: noun

    1: something that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or related body

    2: a statistical observation that is markedly different in value from the others of the sample

    1 .

    Roseto Valfortore lies one hundred miles southeast of Rome in the Apennine foothills of the Italian province of Foggia. In the style of medieval villages, the town is organized around a large central square. Facing the square is the Palazzo Marchesale, the palace of the Saggese family, once the great landowner of those parts. An archway to one side leads to a church, the Madonna del Carmine - Our Lady of Mount Carmine. Narrow stone steps run up the hillside, flanked by closely clustered two-story stone houses with red-tile roofs.

    For centuries, the paesani of Roseto worked in the marble quarries in the surrounding hills, or cultivated the fields in the terraced valley below, walking four and five miles down the mountain in the morning and then making the long journey back up the hill at night. Life was hard. The townsfolk were barely literate and desperately poor and without much hope for economic betterment until word reached Roseto at the end of the nineteenth century of the land of opportunity across the ocean.

    In January of 1882, a group of eleven Rosetans - ten men and one boy - set sail for New York. They spent their first night in America sleeping on the floor of a tavern on Mulberry Street, in Manhattan's Little Italy. Then they ventured west, eventually finding jobs in a slate quarry ninety miles west of the city near the town of Bangor, Pennsylvania. The following year, fifteen Rosetans left Italy for America, and several members of that group ended up in Bangor as well, joining their compatriots in the slate quarry. Those immigrants, in turn, sent word back to Roseto about the promise of the New World, and

    soon one group of Rosetans after another packed their bags and headed for Pennsylvania, until the initial stream of immigrants became a flood. In 1894 alone, some twelve hundred Rosetans applied for passports to America, leaving entire streets of their old village abandoned.

    The Rosetans began buying land on a rocky hillside connected to Bangor by a steep, rutted wagon path. They built closely clustered two-story stone houses with slate roofs on narrow streets running up and down the hillside. They built a church and called it Our Lady of Mount Carmel and named the main street, on which it stood, Garibaldi Avenue, after the great hero of Italian unification. In the beginning, they called their town New Italy. But they soon changed it to Roseto, which seemed only appropriate given that almost all of them had come from the same village in Italy.

    In 1896, a dynamic young priest by the name of Father Pasquale de Nisco took over at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. De Nisco set up spiritual societies and organized festivals. He encouraged the townsfolk to clear the land and plant onions, beans, potatoes, melons, and fruit trees in the long backyards behind their houses. He gave out seeds and bulbs. The town came to life. The Rosetans began raising pigs in their backyards and growing grapes

    for homemade wine. Schools, a park, a convent, and a cemetery were built. Small shops and bakeries and restaurants and bars opened along Garibaldi Avenue. More than a dozen factories sprang up making blouses for the garment trade. Neighboring Bangor was largely Welsh and English, and the next town over was overwhelmingly German, which meant - given the fractious relationships between the English and Germans and Italians in those years - that Roseto stayed strictly for Rosetans. If you had wandered up and down the streets of Roseto in Pennsylvania in the first few decades after 1900, you would have heard only Italian, and not just any Italian but the precise southern Foggian dialect spoken back in the Italian Roseto. Roseto, Pennsylvania, was its own tiny, selfsufficient world - all but unknown by the society around it - and it might well have remained so but for a man named Stewart Wolf.

    Wolf was a physician. He studied digestion and the stomach and taught in the medical school at the University of Oklahoma. He spent his summers on a farm in Pennsylvania, not far from Roseto - although that, of course, didn't mean much, since Roseto was so much in its own world that it was possible to live in the next town and never know much about it. 'One of the times when we were up there for the summer - this would have been in the late nineteen fifties - I was invited to give a talk at the local medical society,' Wolf said years later in an interview. 'After the talk was over, one of the local doctors invited me to have a beer. And while we were having a drink, he said, 'You know, I've been practicing for seventeen years. I get patients from all over, and I rarely find anyone from Roseto under the age of sixty-five with heart disease.' '

    Wolf was taken aback. This was the 1950s, years before the advent of cholesterol-lowering drugs and aggressive measures to prevent heart disease. Heart attacks were an epidemic in the United States. They were the leading cause of death in men under the age of sixty-five. It was impossible to be a doctor, common sense said, and not see heart disease.

    Wolf decided to investigate. He enlisted the support of some of his students and colleagues from Oklahoma. They gathered together the death certificates from residents of the town, going back as many years as they could. They analyzed physicians' records. They took medical histories and constructed family genealogies. 'We got busy,' Wolf said. 'We decided to do a preliminary study. We started in nineteen sixty-one. The mayor said, 'All my sisters are going to help you.' He had four sisters. He said, 'You can have the town council room.' I said, 'Where are you going to have council meetings?' He said, 'Well, we'll

    postpone them for a while.' The ladies would bring us lunch. We had little booths where we could take blood, do EKGs. We were there for four weeks. Then I talked with the authorities. They gave us the school for the summer. We invited the entire population of Roseto to be tested.'

    The results were astonishing. In Roseto, virtually no one under fifty-five had died of a heart attack or showed any signs of heart disease. For men over sixty-five, the death rate from heart disease in Roseto was roughly half that of the United States as a whole. The death rate from all causes in Roseto, in fact, was 30 to 35 percent lower than expected.

    Wolf brought in a friend of his, a sociologist from Oklahoma named John Bruhn, to help him. 'I hired medical students and sociology grad students as interviewers, and in Roseto we went house to house and talked to every person aged twenty-one and over,' Bruhn remembers. This happened more than fifty years ago, but Bruhn still had a sense of amazement in his voice as he described what they found. 'There was no suicide, no alcoholism, no drug addiction, and very little crime. They didn't have anyone on welfare. Then we looked at peptic ulcers. They didn't have any of those either. These people were dying of old age. That's it.'

    Wolf's profession had a name for a place like Roseto - a place that lay outside everyday experience, where the normal rules did not apply. Roseto was an outlier.

    ISBN: 9780141036250
    ISBN-10: 0141036257
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 320
    Published: June 2009
    Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0  x 2.3
    Weight (kg): 0.23

    Malcolm Gladwell

    Malcolm T. Gladwell, CM is an English-Canadian journalist, bestselling author, and speaker. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He has written four books, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Outliers: The Story of Success (2008), and What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009), a collection of his journalism. All four books were on The New York Times Best Seller list.

    Gladwell's books and articles often deal with the unexpected implications of research in the social sciences and make frequent and extended use of academic work, particularly in the areas of sociology, psychology, and social psychology. Gladwell was appointed to the Order of Canada on June 30, 2011

    Visit Malcolm Gladwell's Booktopia Author Page