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The Gladwell Effect

Gladwell_2


“Although pitched as descriptive, [Malcolm] Gladwell’s books are essentially prescriptive. Trust your instincts! You too may be (or can become) a connector, maven or salesman! Gladwell’s dazzling arguments ultimately offer reassurance.

Indeed, he seems a contemporary incarnation of a recurring figure in the American experience, one who comes with encouraging news: You can make a difference, you have the capacity to change. Gladwell may be the Dale Carnegie, or perhaps the Norman Vincent Peale, of the iPod generation. But where Carnegie in his 1936 book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” instructed readers how to understand their customers and flatter people into liking them, and Peale in his 1952 “Power of Positive Thinking” offered watered-down Christian palliatives, Gladwell offers optimism through demystification: to understand how things work is to have control over them.”



Words lifted from writer Rachel Donadio’s profile of Malcolm Gladwell in the NY Times Book Review. If you, like me, are a Gladwell Groupie, then you’ll enjoy her profile of him.

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