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Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers BookI received this hardcover book from Zappos while on the Zappos Insights Tour.

Outliers has been on my reading list for a long time and I am really glad that I finally got around to reading it. There are a lot of great insights in this book and I feel like I learned a lot.

My plans for my child’s education have changed significantly because of this book. The information about the differences in learning among children that are taught year-round versus children that take a long summer break makes a lot of sense to me and I now plan on teaching our child year-round.

There has been some negative talk about the findings in this book, many that attack Malcolm Gladwell on a personal level. I don’t understand why, most of the content in the book is more of a reporting on other people’s research and not Mr. Gladwell claiming ownership of those ideas or even an interpretation of the findings. If you feel there is something being wrongly analyzed in the book take a closer look at where that information is coming from, I think your time would be better spent reading the reports and studies that brought those ideas to the author’s attention.

I really like Outliers and feel like I learned a lot from it. I agree that success, as measured by our culture, takes good timing, being in the right-place at the right-time, recognizing an opportunity and taking advantage of it, and a lot of very hard work.

From the publisher:

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.

I rate this book a 9 out of 10 and recommend to anyone.

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