May 20, 2006

Gladwell Effect

I finally read Malcolm Gladwell's Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (still on my to-read books list is his first book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference ) and I will write about my own thoughts about the book soon... in the meantime read Rachel Donadio's praise in the NYT for Malcolm Gladwell, wondering if The Tipping Point and Blink, which have made the author a global phenomenon, have made the author 'the Dale Carnegie, or perhaps the Norman Vincent Peale, of the iPod generation.'

She writes about the 'Gladwell effect', which has made the author 'an all-out international phenomenon — and has helped create a highly contagious hybrid genre of nonfiction, one that takes a nonthreatening and counterintuitive look at pop culture and the mysteries of the everyday. In the past year, several other books in the Gladwell vein have appeared. They include the best-selling
Freakonomics (NYT Review, Authors' blog) a breezy collection of case studies by Steven Levitt, an economist at the University of Chicago, and the journalist Stephen Dubner'; The Wisdom of Crowds (The NYT Review), a business book for thinking people in which the New Yorker writer James Surowiecki argues that groups are collectively smarter and more innovative than individuals; and Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter, Steven Johnson's case that pop culture is becoming increasingly sophisticated.' (Note: I've modified/added the hyperlinks but the words are from Donadio's article)

Link via Amit Varma's blog about a
review by Malcom Gladwell on a book that looks at performance in sport in an entirely new way.

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