A Best Book of the Year: The Financial Times, Bloomberg, Chicago Tribune, and Detroit Free Pres
Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Outliers, offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers -- and why they often go wrong.
How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn't true?
While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers, you'll hear the voices of people he interviewed--scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There's even a theme song - Janelle Monae's "Hell You Talmbout."
Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don't know. And because we don't know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Malcolm Gladwell has created a thought-provoking exploration of how we respond to unfamiliar people and situations. In his always engaging and accessible way, the New Yorker writer explores how first encounters can have devastating consequences, from the fall of the Aztec empire to Fidel Castro fooling the CIA. If you like Revisionist History, Gladwell’s podcast, this audiobook will be a welcome surprise. With recordings of conversations, music, and interviews that aren’t included in the book, we were completely engrossed by the listening experience. Talking to Strangers feels like an important reminder to think twice before making snap judgments.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Makes you think
I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. The music and real interviews that were able to be placed within the book was everything. We all interact with strangers all the time. Let’s be more mindful and patient with a new encounter.
Audio book is the only way to go!
Provides a path to informed compassion for strangers and in turn, for yourself. Best audio book I’ve ever heard with interviews from the actual people quoted in the text, actors reenact transcripts when audio was not available, and music between chapters.
A masterful descend into the particular
Although Gladwell doesn’t address it in macro, the premise of this book is about asking the question “and”. What if we hold the officer responsible **and** taught police how to talk to strangers? What if we "taught men how to respect women" **and** "...how to drink less". In a true Socratic fashion Gladwell sows more doubt than answers going case study by case study to show the uncomfortable complexities of dealing with strangers. He brings to the forefront the intrinsic costs we all have bear for our decisions regarding it.
I love the audiobook, while not as production heavy as Revisionist History, it makes the book and easier listen by separating the narrators voice from the subjects and littering bits of context throughout the story.