David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Title: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 978-0-316-20436-1

Malcolm Gladwell writes in the introduction of his book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, it is “a book about what happens when ordinary people confront giants. By ‘giants,’ I mean powerful opponents of all kinds – from armies and mighty warriors to disability, misfortune, and oppression.”

At three hundred and twenty pages, this hardbound book is targeted toward those interested in a variety of people throughout history who have won against all odds, overcome poor situations, or happen to be in the right place at the right time to change the course of their lives for the better. With mild profanity, psychology, sociology, statistics, a few charts, and two identical photographs, it would be best read by mature readers.

After an introduction about the Biblical David and Goliath, the book is separated into three parts: The Advantages of Disadvantages (and the Disadvantages of Advantages), the Theory of Desirable Difficulty, and the Limits of Power, ending with acknowledgements, notes, an index, and author’s biography.

Gladwell purports that by overcoming overwhelming odds, people can produce greatness and beauty. Even though we consistently misread and misinterpret conflicts, our weaknesses can turn into strengths, our disabilities can make us more desirable, and our limited power can be used to our benefit.

With a few chapters relating to the famous “David overcomes Goliath” story, the author suggests Goliath was not the giant he thought he was, was too big, and supposedly had the double-vision disease called acromegaly.

Concentrating on the role of the underdog, random discussions range from the perfect public school class size, the plateau of making money no longer brings happiness, and choosing a college based on being “the big fish in the tiny pond” theory to middle-school basketball teams, Impressionistic artists’ struggles, dyslexia, Catholics in Northern Ireland, California’s Three Strike law, and hiding Jews in World War Two.

As a tedious read, the sporadic topics pop up time and time again as the writer rambles about the pros and cons of being the best or worst at something. Granted his suggestion to challenge obstacles and difficulties in life to produce the freedom of nothing to lose is valid, the plethora of wide-ranging examples goes off topic too often, never focusing on the God of the Bible’s true intervention regarding our “giants.”

This book was furnished through The B & B Media Group, Inc. in exchange for the reader’s honest opinion.

This review will be posted on Bookpleasures and Amazon with links on Pinterest and LinkedIn.

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Filed under Non-Fiction

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