November 17, 2008

"'Outliers' ... is peppy, brightly written ... provocative ... glib, poorly reasoned and thoroughly unconvincing."

Michiko Kakutani says okay, that's it, enough of Malcolm Gladwell. Is that a gut reaction (see "Blink") that will spread like some kind of disease (see "The Tipping Point")?

9 comments:

Joe M. said...

Unrelated to the merits (or lack thereof) of Gladwell's writing, I must object to Kakutani's use of "italicize" here:

"Mr. Gladwell’s latest book, employs this same recipe, but does so in such a clumsy manner that it italicizes the weaknesses of his methodology."

I would like to italicize the ridiculousness of this usage.

John Althouse Cohen said...

I'm surprised it didn't spread when Richard Posner wrote this devastatingly accurate review of Gladwell's Blink.

joe m.: Great catch!

ricpic said...

Does someone as obviously withit as Mr. Gladwell even need a methodology? Not in my experience. The fucker will make out like a bandit. Count on it.

ricpic said...

Does Michiko Kakutani's kaka kome out

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Sometimes mine does.

Original George said...

Eh, so what, big deal...it'll make a great cable TV series.

Sounds like this Kakutani woman reads too many books. She has high expectations.

Pogo said...

A book I don't want to read reviewed in a newspaper I don't want to read.

What a pleasant combination. The trifecta will be when the article is discussed on CNN, which I will never see. A lefty circle jerk.

Revenant said...

Mr. Gladwell does not explain why [...] groups like the Rolling Stones or the Beach Boys, who didn’t play as many Hamburg shows as the Beatles, also went on to shape music history.

Did the Beach Boys "shape music history", really? They popularized a musical fad, but the fad didn't last long.

Joe M. said...

Yes, the Beach Boys did "shape music history." Pet Sounds. Not just surf rock.

halojones-fan said...

Yeah, I saw this excerpt. I'm not really sure what Gladwell's trying to argue. First he claims that you need to work a lot if you want to succeed. Then he tells you that you won't succeed unless you get a lucky break--even if you work hard.

Congratulations, you've justified the beliefs of 230 million Dem/Left slackers who believe that there's no such thing as success...