Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Book Review: 'David and Goliath' by Malcolm Gladwell - WSJ.com

Book Review: 'David and Goliath' by Malcolm Gladwell - WSJ.com:

I read several Gladwell's books and his articles published in New Yorker and other periodicals. Not a huge fan, but still enjoys the reading, and then comes this piece:
This flaw permeates Mr. Gladwell's writings: He excels at telling just-so stories and cherry-picking science to back them.
Exact reason that I keep some distance from his books. But the books sell, so his strategy is not like to change.
One thing "David and Goliath" shows is that Mr. Gladwell has not changed his own strategy, despite serious criticism of his prior work. What he presents are mostly just intriguing possibilities and musings about human behavior, but what his publisher sells them as, and what his readers may incorrectly take them for, are lawful, causal rules that explain how the world really works. Mr. Gladwell should acknowledge when he is speculating or working with thin evidentiary soup. Yet far from abandoning his hand or even standing pat, Mr. Gladwell has doubled down. This will surely bring more success to a Goliath of nonfiction writing, but not to his readers. 
To be fair, Gladwell is not alone in this strategy. Most "best-selling" business/non-fiction books employ such strategy. Many are far worse. Readers be aware, but have peace. And Gladwell appears on the Costco (@!) magazine's cover this month as the Thinker.

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