Book Review: Outliers

I just finished up Outliers: The Story of Success tonight….  Gladwell is a masterful story teller.  You can not walk away from this book without thinking about the world differently.  Rather than seeing success as a "lucky-break” or simply hard work, you realize the truly noteworthy success is a product of history and community, of opportunity and desire. 

In the large, the book made me consider our social trends and what long term, multi-generational effects they are bound to have.   In the small the book spurred many conversations between my wife on how to give our kids the best opportunities. 


Comments (16)

  1. What's New says:

    I just finished up Outliers: The Story of Success tonight….  Gladwell is a masterful story teller

  2. Anonymous says:

    My mom gave that book to me for Christmas.  It definitely changed my perspective on some things.  Very enjoyable read!

  3. Jack says:

    I just fund you always introduce book to us, lots of interesting ones

  4. RussellH says:

    I have not read this book, but heard the author speak on a radio interview.  He made the outrageous claim that talent doesn’t matter.  He was not using hyperbole, he was actually making the claim that there was no such thing.

    If you have ever observed two brothers having pretty much exactly the same background where one struggles to learn to play the piano and the other learns it effortlessly, you know that talent obviously does exist.  One person can draw a beautiful drawing without little effort or training while another can’t.

    The interview left with such a negative impression that I can’t consider reader the book unless someone explain what he meant.

  5. Bank says:

    Just finished the book.  Very interesting as has been stated by others.  A definate must read.  It makes me realize how susceptible we are to theories, whether proven or unproven, like the sub 4 min mile before it was broken then it created a paradigm shift that has changed athletics.  Left me excited about what a great world we live in and how awesome we are as humans!  There is a God and he is in charge, far beyond our ability to comprehend and explain.

  6. Luckily it was published in spanish too!

    I really enjoyed the book, thank you for the recommendation!

  7. Realist says:

    I found Gladwell books poorly researched and often making the wrong conclusion from known facts. Really surprised how he is selling any of his books and come to believe that very likely it is due to lack of good proven book on the contraversial topics he picks in the market…….I read this book and it really was a waste of time with little or no takeaways…..

  8. GMoney says:

    I was motivated to read the book based on some comments made by some editorial writers in the local newspaper. Gladwell’s comments about "replacing perceived lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages with a society that provides opportunities for all" is hard to take.  I’m sure Bill Gates wasn’t the only person to get a computer in 1968, Bill Joy wasn’t the only one wandering the University of Michigan computing center in 1971.  There is an amount of drive and ambition required to make it over the top, that comes from the individual.   His comment about a million teenagers having the same opportunity as Bill Gates would have created more Microsofts is also a wish.  Out of a million teenagers you might find 100 or so that would have the drive and ambition to do what he did.  In addition, what kind of economic and technical chaos would there be with a "million Microsofts" in the market place.

    I understand what he is saying but the way overemphasized the lucky breaks and advantages and to call them as such as the sole cause or reason for success, he degrades education, hard work, drive ambition and success.  Should we all sit on our hands and wait for society to hand us our opportunity?

  9. pauljack says:

    excellent platform for reassessing old perceptions of how  achievements are accomplished.  it is’s not a treatise or professional’s meant to catalyse your outlook.  the hard work, concentration, and long focus are true success elements and ones that anyone can apply.  it’s also a subtle rebuke of how ‘fat’ the typical american is…no mental or emotional muscle.  pulls together all the wisps of conclusions from years of observation…makes sense of what one has seen and heard and lived for decades.

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