What is the difference between choking and panicking? Why are there dozens of varieties of mustard-but only one variety of ketchup? What do football players teach us about how to hire teachers? What does hair dye tell us about the history of the 20 th century?
In the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has written three books that have radically changed how we understand our world and ourselves: The Tipping Point; Blink; and Outliers. Now, in What the Dog Saw, he brings together, for the first time, the best of his writing from The New Yorker over the same period.
Here is the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill, and the dazzling inventions of the pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz. Gladwell sits with Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen, as he sells rotisserie ovens, and divines the secrets of Cesar Millan, the "dog whisperer" who can calm savage animals with the touch of his hand. He explores intelligence tests and ethnic profiling and "hindsight bias" and why it was that everyone in Silicon Valley once tripped over themselves to hire the same college graduate.
"Good writing," Gladwell says in his preface, "does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head." What the Dog Saw is yet another example of the buoyant spirit and unflagging curiosity that have made Malcolm Gladwell our most brilliant investigator of the hidden extraordinary.
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Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with the New Yorker magazine since 1996. He is the author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, all of which were number one New York Times bestsellers. Prior to joining the New Yorker, he was a reporter with the Washington Post, where he covered business, science, and then served as the newspaper's New York City bureau chief. Gladwell was born in England, grew up in rural Ontario, and now lives in New York City.From AudioFile:
Ranging in subject from master salesman Ron Popeil to hair dye, pasta sauce, and how the NFL can help us hire better teachers, this collection of the author's essays from THE NEW YORKER is both entertaining and informative. Malcolm Gladwell reminds us that authors can effectively read their own books by turning in a well-crafted, subtle performance. His slightly husky upper-register voice is calm and assured, and he knows exactly where to pause, provide emphasis, and how to deliver a punch line. While Gladwell is not a seasoned reader and sometimes needs to vary his pitch and rhythm, he seems to relish bringing to light the ideas and people he finds fascinating. R.I.G. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
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