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The subjects for his articles, usually non-fiction, range from " Ron Popeil 's infomercial empire to computers that analyze pop songs".
The Tipping Point and Blink Blink explains "what happens during the first two seconds we encounter something, before we actually start to think". Gladwell was drawn to writing about singular things after he discovered that "they always made the best stories".
In one of the book's chapters, in which Gladwell focuses on the American public school system, he used research conducted by university sociologist Karl Alexander that suggested that "the way in which education is discussed in the United States is backwards".
It sounds a little trite, but there's a powerful amount of truth in that, I think. Opportunity" contains five chapters, and "Part Two: The book also contains an Introduction and Epilogue.
In the introduction, Gladwell lays out the purpose of Outliers: The reason behind this is that since youth hockey leagues determine eligibility by calendar year, children born on January 1 play in the same league as those born on December 31 in the same year.
Because children born earlier in the year are statistically larger and more physically mature than their younger competitors, and they are often identified as better athletes, this leads to extra coaching and a higher likelihood of being selected for elite hockey leagues.
This phenomenon in which " the rich get richer and the poor get poorer " is dubbed "accumulative advantage" by Gladwell, while sociologist Robert K. Merton calls it "the Matthew Effect ", named after a biblical verse in the Gospel of Matthew: But from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
A common theme that appears throughout Outliers is the "10,Hour Rule", based on a study by Anders Ericsson. Gladwell claims that greatness requires enormous time, using the source of the Beatles' musical talents and Gates' computer savvy as examples.
Gladwell asserts that all of the time the Beatles spent performing shaped their talent, and quotes a Beatles' biographer, Philip Normanas claiming "So by the time they returned to England from Hamburg, Germany, 'they sounded like no one else.
It was the making of them. Gladwell explains that reaching the 10,Hour Rule, which he considers the key to success in any field, is simply a matter of practicing a specific task that can be accomplished with 20 hours of work a week for 10 years. He also notes that he himself took exactly 10 years to meet the 10,Hour Rule, during his brief tenure at The American Spectator and his more recent job at The Washington Post.
Robert Oppenheimer 's affluent background helped give him the skills necessary to become successful. Reemphasizing his theme, Gladwell continuously reminds the reader that genius is not the only or even the most important thing when determining a person's success.
Using an anecdote to illustrate his claim, he discusses the story of Christopher Langana man who ended up owning a horse farm in rural Missouri despite having an IQ of Gladwell claims that Einstein 's was With no one in Langan's life and nothing in his background to help him take advantage of his exceptional gifts, he had to find success by himself.
Noting that they typify innate natural abilities that should have helped them both succeed in life, Gladwell argues that Oppenheimer's upbringing made a pivotal difference in his life.
Oppenheimer grew up in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Manhattanwas the son of a successful businessman and a painter, attended the Ethical Culture Fieldston School on Central Park Westand was afforded a childhood of concerted cultivation.
When Oppenheimer was a student at University of Cambridge he attempted to poison one of his tutors. He avoided punishment, and continued his studies by using the skills gained from his cultivated upbringing in his negotiation with the university's administrators, who had wanted to expel him.
In chapter nine, Marita's Bargain, Gladwell advances the notion that the success of students of different cultures or different socio-economic backgrounds is in fact highly correlated to the time students spent in school or in educationally rich environments.
He describes the Knowledge is Power Program KIPP which helps students from about 50 inner-city schools across the United States achieve much better results than other inner-city schools' students and explains that their success stems from the fact that they simply spent more hours at school during the school year and the summer.
Gladwell also analyzes a five-year study done by Karl Alexander of Johns Hopkins Universitydemonstrating that summer holidays have a detrimental effect on students of disadvantaged backgrounds, who paradoxically progress more during the school year than students from the highest socio-economic group.
Before the book concludes, Gladwell writes about the unique roots of his Jamaican mother, Joyce, a descendant of African slaves. After moving together to Canada, Graham became a math professor and Joyce a writer and therapist. While Gladwell acknowledges his mother's ambition and intelligence, he also points out opportunities offered to his parents that helped them live a life better than those of other slave descendants in the West Indies.
Gladwell also explains that, in the 18th century, a white plantation owner in Jamaica bought a female slave and made her his mistress. This act inadvertently saved the slave and her offspring from a life of brutal servitude.
Summarizing the publication, Gladwell notes that success "is not exceptional or mysterious. It is grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky",  and at the end of the book, he remarks, "Outliers wasn't intended as autobiography.
But you could read it as an extended apology for my success. Lev Grossmanwriting in Time magazinecalled Outliers a "more personal book than its predecessors", noting, "If you hold it up to the light, at the right angle, you can read it as a coded autobiography: In particular, Anders Ericsson and coauthors who conducted the study upon which "the 10,Hour Rule" was based have written in their book that Gladwell had overgeneralized, misinterpreted, and oversimplified their findings.
Shaywitz, reviewing the book in The Wall Street Journalpraised Gladwell's writing style as "iconic", and asserted that "many new nonfiction authors seek to define themselves as the 'Malcolm Gladwell of' their chosen topic.
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