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

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*Starred Review* Gladwell’s best-sellers, such as The Tipping Point (2000) and Outliers (2008), have
changed the way we think about sociological changes and the factors that contribute to high levels of success. Here he
examines and challenges our concepts of “advantage” and “disadvantage” in a way that may seem intuitive to some and
surprising to others. Beginning with the classic tale of David and Goliath and moving through history with figures such
as Lawrence of Arabia and Martin Luther King Jr., Gladwell shows how, time and again, players labeled “underdog” use
that status to their advantage and prevail through the elements of cunning and surprise. He also shows how certain
academic “advantages,” such as getting into an Ivy League school, have downsides, in that being a “big fish in a small
pond” at a less prestigious school can lead to greater confidence and a better chance of success in later life. Gladwell
even promotes the idea of a “desirable difficulty,” such as dyslexia, a learning disability that causes much frustration
for reading students but, at the same time, may force them to develop better listening and creative problem-solving
skills. As usual, Gladwell presents his research in a fresh and easy-to-understand context, and he may have coined the
catchphrase of the decade, “Use what you got.” --David Siegfried

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Review
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"Truly intriguing and inspiring, especially when Gladwell discusses 'desirable difficulties'....Gladwell's
account of the journey of Dr. Emil 'Jay' Freireich is unforgettable." ---Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times

"Provocative....David and Goliath is a lean, consuming read....The book's most crafty, engaging chapter ties together
the Impressionist movement and college choices to highlight the fact that gaining admission to elite institutions, which
we typically perceive as an advantage, is no guarantee of success." ---John Wilwol, San Francisco Chronicle

"As always, Gladwell's sweep is breathtaking and thought-provoking....I've long admired Gladwell's work." ---Joe Nocera,
New York Times

"David and Goliath readers will travel with colorful characters who overcame great difficulties and learn fascinating
facts about the Battle of Britain, cancer medicine and the struggle for civil rights, to name just a few topics upon
which Mr. Gladwell's wide-ranging narrative touches. This is an entertaining book." ---Christopher F. Chabris, Wall
Street Journal

"Fascinating....Gladwell is a master of synthesis. This perennially bestselling author prides himself on radical
re-thinking and urges the rest of us to follow suit." ---Heller McAlpin, Washington Post

"What propels the book, like all of Gladwell's writing, is his intoxicating brand of storytelling. He is the master of
mixing familiar elements with surprise counter-intuitions, and then seasoning with a sprinkling of scientific
evidence....Gladwell is a master craftsman, an outlier amongst authors." ---Rob Brooks, Huffington Post

"Gladwell sells books by the millions because he is masterful at explaining how the world works---the power of critical
mass, the arbitrariness of success, etc.---packaging his ideas in fun, accessible, and poignant vignettes." ---Lionel
Beehner, USA Today

"Gladwell's most provocative book yet. David and Goliath challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages,
drawing upon history, psychology, and powerful narrative talent to rethink how we view the world around us and how to
deal with the challenges life throws at us." ---Susanne Jaffe, Columbus Dispatch

"The bestselling author behind the inventive Outliers, Blink, and The Tipping Point is back with another thought
provoking theory that fascinates, entertains, and informs. He gives underdogs their due this time, challenging
everything readers believe about facing-and conquering-life's stumbling blocks, using the 'real' story of David and
Goliath and more to make his point." ---Celeste Williams, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Gladwell has made a career out of questioning conventional wisdom, and here he examines the allegedly unlikely triumph
of the weak over the mighty and shows it's not so unlikely after all. 4 stars." ---Judith Newman, People Magazine

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