Critical review of the book Outliers: The Story of Success
Malcolm was born in 1963. He is a Canadian Journalist, bestselling author, as well as speaker. He was the writer of the New Yorker magazine since 1996, in Fareham Hemisphere, in England by Joyce Gladwell, and his father Graham Gladwell. In his life, he was a young single-minded and ambitious boy, whose interest was writing and reading books.
He has also managed to write and publish five books at the tipping point; ‘How Little Things Can Make a Big difference’ (2002), ‘There is Blink: The power of Thinking without Thinking’ (2005), and ‘What the Dog Saw and the Other Adventures’ (2009), which consist of his journalistic work. In addition, he wrote, ‘David Goliath Underdogs’, ‘The Art of Battling Giants’ (1013), and ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’ (2008). His most interest with the unexpected implications of research in the social sciences and frequent use of the academic works based on sociology, psychology, and social psychology (Gladwell, p. 24).
Summary of the book
The title of the book, ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’ talks about the outliers; these are the people who succeed extraordinarily. The book talks about the stories of the people who have succeeded and those who have not succeeded. The author tries to explore the secrets of success, he argues that success does not just come from the individual’s intelligence, there must be extra intelligence called emotional intelligence. He claims the individual’s environment together with the personal view and motives affects his ability and chance for success. The author takes us on an imaginative journey through the world outliers, which is one of the most successful, best bright and famous book. He comes with the question of what makes the excessive achievers different. He then answers the question himself by explaining to us that whatever we put so much consideration to what beneficial people are like, little attention to where they came from, such as their culture, family, period, and personal experiences that they went through while growing. He says that there is a story that is always said concerning the most successful people, this story always focuses on the intelligence and ambition (Gladwell, p. 08).
However, the author claims that the real story concerning success is quite different, and the only way to understand the way they succeed is through going back to their social background, the family, the place of birth, and even the time they were born. According to him, the story about someone’s success is very complex and very interesting than just the way it may appear. He explains the most common things about bill gates and the Beatles, the unique thing they have in common about the Asian at math, he explores the secrete advantages of a star athlete. In addition, he explains the reasons as the why the top lawyers in New York always have the same CV, as well as the reason why the smartest man has never been told basing on the culture, family background, as well as the social class. To him, if one wants to be a silicon billionaire he has to look back where he came from, for instance, if one wants to be a successful pilot, he has to look back where he was born. According to Malcolm, the lives of the outliers, that are the people whose success is beyond the expectation, always have a logic plan that is unique (Kear, p. 23).
I found the book quite interesting since it is very engaging and draws one back to the history of achievement, which many people do not really find important as they try to look at the successful people. I found the most appealing section as the IQ, where he talked about the common sense; he believes that success does not only come from the intelligence, but also the common sense. I liked his research and the evidence he gave from the book. The other part that is as interesting was the issue of looking back into the history and family background of an individual. I agree with him, that if it were not for the support of that family and the experiences that the individual went through, he could have not worked that hard towards his achievement (Schneier, p. 23).
Symbolic Interactionist theory, the Outliers state that people benefit from one another, according to Malcolm, through interaction with other people an individual gets to know the new ideas that can help him to achieve his dreams and become a successful person in life. The people around us, inspire us as we try to interact with them. According to functionalism theory the part of people in society influence the stability of the general society, since the functionalist depend on one another therefore, Malcolm also argues that the success of a person is influenced by the society if the society is still in tradition and stereotype then the achievement of the person will be destructed (Gladwell, p. 7).
The main issues have been addressed even though they still need some clarification, the research is mainly done by the author; hence, it does not give a chance for other perspectives, and this implies that the book was not based on his views but on the view of other researchers. Moreover, the contents of the book are based on the technical terms, which are meant for professionals; therefore, any other person may not be able to internalize the meaning. However, Many people can benefit from this book since it gives new ideas and makes people think critically and evaluate their lives, how to be successful.
The other bad thing that I realized from the book was the issues of rice paddies and mathematics; this sounded more stereotypical and could raise the issues against the Asian descent. This is because the Asians are learned, especially in math, even though it is not all of them who are learned. This could be better if the author could have added more evidence from the research. I think Asians are good in math and disciplined as well as they are learned. Even though some are still not good in math, it is not based on the ethnic background. They must have put so much effort in achieving it and not because of their ethnic background. In addition, he argues that the success of the child comes from the period, yet still there are those who succeed despite the time or period of the time.
The most interesting thing about the book is that the issue of the language differences that the children in China can master numbers easier than those from the States. That sounds ironical, but anyway the language difference affects the child, but I think the parents affect the child more than the language.
In the epilogue, the author talks the way he was an outlier, however, I believe he only used that in the book to emphasize his point to the readers. His parents had the potential to make him successful. I believe that the real outlier is self-made, and not those who have the opportunity to be successful
Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers: The Story of Success. New York: Little, Brown and Co, 2008. Internet resource.
Kear, Lynn, and Laurette Taylor. Laurette Taylor, American Stage Legend. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2010. Internet resource.
Schneier, Bruce. Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley, 2012. Print.