The bestselling author of The Bomber Mafia focuses on "minor geniuses" and idiosyncratic behavior to illuminate the ways all of us organize experience in this "delightful" (Bloomberg News) collection of writings from The New Yorker.
What is the difference between choking and panicking? Why are there dozens of varieties of mustard-but only one variety of ketchup? What do football players teach us about how to hire teachers? What does hair dye tell us about the history of the 20th century?
In the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has written three books that have radically changed how we understand our world and ourselves: The Tipping Point; Blink; and Outliers. Now, in What the Dog Saw, he brings together, for the first time, the best of his writing from TheNew Yorker over the same period.
Here is the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill, and the dazzling inventions of the pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz. Gladwell sits with Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen, as he sells rotisserie ovens, and divines the secrets of Cesar Millan, the "dog whisperer" who can calm savage animals with the touch of his hand. He explores intelligence tests and ethnic profiling and "hindsight bias" and why it was that everyone in Silicon Valley once tripped over themselves to hire the same college graduate.
"Good writing," Gladwell says in his preface, "does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head." What the Dog Saw is yet another example of the buoyant spirit and unflagging curiosity that have made Malcolm Gladwell our most brilliant investigator of the hidden extraordinary.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In the preface to Malcolm Gladwell’s collection of his New Yorker articles, he explains that he wants to see the world through other people’s eyes. Each of his 19 essays introduces us to fascinating people, from cable TV star Cesar “the Dog Whisperer” Millan to FBI profiler John Douglas of Mindhunter fame. Gladwell uses these unique characters to reveal new ways of thinking about bigger themes. So an in-depth profile of an iconoclastic stock trader becomes a philosophical meditation on how we react to failure and a history of at-home hair color turns into a multigenerational story of cultural assimilation and feminism. As much as we love books like Outliers and The Tipping Point, we keep coming back to What the Dog Saw simply because Gladwell’s obvious affection and enthusiasm for his topics make it a treat to listen to.