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Publisher Description

Learn what sets high achievers apart -- from Bill Gates to the Beatles -- in this #1 bestseller from "a singular talent" (New York Times Book Review).

In this stunning 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.

Business & Personal Finance
November 18
Little, Brown and Company
Hachette Digital, Inc.

Customer Reviews

C. Ackerman ,

Interesting but Not Particularly Actionable

The thesis of “Outliers” is that we are all largely a product of our environments, and that the greatest among us benefit from being part of the right environments in addition to having certain innate talent as a prerequisite. Gladwell’s arguments are informative and salient, but if you’re approaching the book for advice, I don’t think there’s a lot of actionable information.

Saiye ,



Richard Bakare ,

Nature vs Nurture

The debate of Nature versus Nurture is an old one. Hero culture, that idea of individual exceptionalism willed from “boot strap” beginnings, prevails heavily in the US. What this vision lacks is the detailed history and nuanced perspective on all of the circumstances that set up success in spite of all other factors.

Malcolm Gladwell does another masterful job of diving into the complexities of social psychology; employing his usual story telling narrative style, along with data, and engaging anecdotes. Specifically, this book navigates through relatedness and definitions of IQ, EQ, and SQ. It builds from those foundations to ask how the odd formula of balancing those three along with “lucky” breaks help us see the true story behind success and failure.

My individual perspective leads me to believe that who we are comes down to 1 part nature (IQ) plus 2 parts nurture (environment [EQ + SQ]). The bigger take away is that we have to really look at, what Gladwell calls the Cultural Heredity, of various scenarios to get to the root circumstances that filter people into successful, average, and failing buckets. Then ask ourselves, is the system itself producing outliers by way of some unseen flaw or is the playing field level and we are really seeing the cream of the crop?

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