Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell, born on September 3, 1963 in Hampshire, England is a renowned journalist, bestselling author and speaker. He has written five books till date, all of which have ended up on the New York Times Best Seller List. His books include the incredibly famous,The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Outliers: The Story of Success, What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures and David and Goliath. Each of his books center around his research in areas of sociology, psychology and social psychology.

Gladwell is a top notch journalist working with the New Yorker now but this wasn’t always what he had hoped for or tried out for. Gladwell didn’t have the grades to get into a graduate school so instead he decided to opt for a career in advertising. However, as fate would have it he was rejected by every single advertising agency he applied to and this is how he ended up pursuing a career in journalism. After facing countless rejections, he accepted the journalism position at the American Spectator and he moved to Indiana. During the time, he also wrote for “Insight on the News” and later on he began covering the business and science category for the Washington Post. He worked there from 1987 till 1996. 1996 was the fateful year when he joined the New Yorker.

His first piece of assignment for the New Yorker was a piece about fashion but Gladwell gave it a fresh new turn. Instead of writing about some high class fashion, Gladwell wrote about a man who manufactured low price t-shirts. His articles gained popularity quick enough and that’s how Gladwell came up with the idea for his first book i.e. The Tipping Point.

Gladwell has received a number of awards and honors for his work. In 2005 he was named as one of the 100 most influential people by the Time magazine. In 2007 the American Sociological Association’s first award for excellence in the reporting of Social issue was also awarded to him. He received an honorary degree from university of waterloo in 2007 and in 2011 he received an honorary degree from the University of Toronto.

Now to shed some light upon the work which earned him his gateway to success; it is quite apparent that Gladwell turned out to be an amazing journalist with a keen eye and a deep insight into the mysteries of human psychology and sociology. In 2002, Gladwell wrote an article in the New Yorker and introduced the concept of the “talent myth” which is something companies and organizations follow religiously yet unconsciously.

His books have a couple of interesting factors which make them, somewhat irresistible to the readers. For example his first book, The Tipping point discussed the sudden drop of crime rate in New York City but with a fresh approach. His second book, Blink dealt more with human psychology, in particular how the human unconsciously interprets events and clues and makes informed decisions quite rapidly. The Outliers had a very interesting theme that centered on how society, more accurately how a specific social environment affects a person’s opportunities for success. What the Dog Saw was a book in which the readers learned to see the world through the eyes of others, in this case, a dog. In his very recent book, David and Goliath, Gladwell discusses the struggles of an underdog as compared to a favorite.

Malcolm Gladwell continues to work for the New Yorker and in 2011 he was appointed to the Order of Canada.


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