YOUth Review: David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

David Goliath By Malcolm Gladwell

The book David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell presents the concept of why underdogs excel in situations, in which the odds are unfavourable. “We have a definition in our heads of what an advantage is — and the definition isn’t right. And what happens as a result? It means that we make mistakes. It means that we misread battles between underdogs and giants. It means that we underestimate how much freedom there can be in what looks like a disadvantage”, as Gladwell puts it. Gladwell utilizes relevant historic events and people who have achieved personal success to illustrate this topic of underdogs and advantages; the epitome of the story of David and Goliath.

The book itself possesses three vital principles: adopting a different perspective to win a battle, the inverted ‘U’ curve, and how presumed disadvantage can give us an advantage. In reality, we as humans often misinterpret the odds, presuming that they are highly stacked against us. However, the same attributes that contribute to a ‘Giants’ power are often the origin of their downfall.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and I highly recommend it. Gladwell dwelled into intellectual contradictions to present the idea of ‘David and Goliath.’ He effortlessly glided from topic to topic, highlighting relevant examples and historic events to portray his message. Personally, I appreciate Gladwell’s unorthodox approach to certain concepts; opening one’s eye to the contrasting takes on specific events. As Malcolm Gladwell once said, “We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem. We’re a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we don’t really have an explanation for.”


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