Malcolm Gladwell is a master of synthesis who has made the extracting career counterintuitive and insights that are highly debatable from the social scientists' research. His books have made him proud and a radical re-thinker who urges people to follow in his steps. The focus of his book "David and Goliath" had hidden extraordinary opportunities and advantages that have helped outliers, shifting to underdogs who prevail in the end. Therefore, the paper is premised on a discussion on Malcolm Gladwell's book, "David and Goliath" which was written after the civil war, representing how the world has been after the occurrence of the civil war.
The world has become a less complicated place with Gladwell's book in hand. Gladwell raises questions about the fight between David and Goliath that are reassuringly clear. The answers he portrays are tricky enough to suggest the understanding of a reader of whether they are correct. Nonetheless, as he specifies his book, "David and Goliath," he sets out in exploring two ideas. Firstly, there is beauty and greatness in David-Goliath fights, more so when an underdog win. Secondly, the world and the readers are getting the conflicts wrong by failing to realize that everyone has weaknesses that can be used to defeat them (Gladwell n.p). For example, David accomplishing the unexpected. However, people suggested that if his book was serious enough, it would have portrayed terrorism but Gladwell was not in the thoughts or business of proving disturbing information. Instead, he emphasizes on novelty and uplift (Schanzenbach n.p).
Also, he compares the effects of Goliath's spears and swords to that of David's slingshots, lauding the maneuverability of David. He, therefore, suggests that Goliath might have had a growth disorder, acromegaly. The disorder meant a pituitary tumor which creates vision problems explaining why Goliath had the attendant of leading him. Additionally, the Israelites saw Goliath as being excessively huge and David as a puny. He goes ahead to ask the readers whether they see the relevance in their daily lives thoughts (Henry, 46). You might be huge but with little reasoning or one might be tiny but has challenging tactics of the worldly activities. Malcolm compares this scenario with the daily activities that always happen to us in time of trouble. People fear to reason due to their age, body or height, thinking that are weak. The action is what makes failure to be attracted, making one lose hope instead of thinking for a bright future (Oh, n.p).
As the story in the book progresses, we learn about a famous photograph of the movements of civil rights, some teenager being attacked by a dog in Birmingham. Gladwell illustrates that the weak people are not always what they seem to be. And in this, he learns vastly from Diane McWhorter's magnificent story. The teenager was a spectator in the picture and not a demonstrator as he knew his ways around dogs due to daily interaction with them. In scrutinizing the photograph closely, it made the front pages across the country, stirring an outrage (Schanzenbach n.p). The boy is revealed far from becoming resigned helplessly as he had kicked the dog and broken its jaw. Also, once, Wyatt Walker, a civil rights organizer, was searching for publicity or worthy confrontations. Gladwell explains in his story how Walker tricked the local authorities into confusing the bystanders with demonstrators who could heighten the alarm sense. If giants are cut down to size, it is a recurrent and heartening theme in "David and Goliath" (Gladwell n.p).
Nevertheless, Gladwell proceeds to examine why the Nazi blitz failed to demoralize Londoners as he suggested and expected. Why the extremely harsh English army failed in prevailing against the Catholics in Northern Ireland. Lastly, why the California three strikes law turned out to be counterproductive. Also, Malcolm Gladwell is less convincing after chipping away at elite schools, shifting to the prescriptive from descriptive in matters concerning education, having recommendations on the choices of colleges, sizes of classes and affirmative action (Gladwell n.p). He laments the huge amounts spent on describing the teacher-hiring binge that is misguidedly focused on reducing the sizes of classes. He argues that smaller classes produce negative results, citing inverted U curved relationships and statistics. Therefore, advocating for larger classes, he says that there is no competition in small groups and people should major in large educational groups. He even asks, "what is the adventure of learning?" (Henry, 46).
In the middle of the book, Gladwell scrambles over the stories of a lawyer in the trial, David Boies, Brian Grazer who was a film producer, Gary D. Cohn, Jay Freireich and a civil rights leader. The disproportionate gravity of the people borders on insult, but it is his gift to paste the incongruous together. After all, all these people created strategies that were ingenious to cope with their dyslexia (Oh, n.p). However, Freireich overcomes the hardships of childhood and would dare put a child through experimental treatments that were excruciating to save his or her life. In the same section if the book, Gladwell invokes the second world war that was bombed in London as a mismatch between David and Goliath. The efforts of the Germans in intimidating the British created a miss of remote which was a survivor's exhilaration promoting the willingness to take risks (Gladwell n.p).
Nevertheless, Malcolm Gladwell comments that it is something strange to have an educational philosophy which thinks of different students in a classroom, having a child as a competitor for the teacher's attention. Not the attention of the friends and he asks whether it is the adventure of learning (Schanzenbach n.p). Additionally, in his argument, he goes against students choosing the top and high standard colleges over the schools that are good enough. Also, in favor of the big fish ponds, he plunges to the murky waters, which meant that the college students of America drop out of the STEM rapidly because they are forced to pursue courses that require good thinking and keenness (Henry, 46). The STEM is an abbreviation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses. He proceeds to say that these students cannot pass unless they are at the top of their classes because of relative deprivation, a psychological phenomenon. The students enrolled in STEM courses often compare themselves with other gifted and talented classmates rather than the national pool, and they end up being discouraged (Oh, n.p).
He suggests a solution to these students of going to a school that is less-exclusive, where they could have better chances of feeling better about themselves as they would measure themselves against the less daunting yardsticks. Leaving potentially advantageous future and prestige contacts out of an equation, all students should be admitted to reaching schools or lesser institutions. Also, Malcolm's application of the ideas to the debate is troubling as learning about the relative theory of deprivation is a more skeptical deal of programs of the affirmative action. In other words, he claims that it is better off for underdogs not to enter in the hand to hand combat on the Giants' turf with giants (Gladwell n.p). The "David and Goliath" story moreover, depicts Mr. Gladwell's facility to be engaging and also a manipulative storyteller who was transparent. Also, he likes the end of the chapter revelations which stated that the dyslexic who expressed himself for a job as a leader of options, is now the president of Goldman Sachs.
Therefore, the successes or the effectiveness of the mentioned essay include: The examples portrayed in the book are the ones that back up its thesis. The book has evidence supporting its arguments, for example, the cases of David and Goliath, the teenagers, the lawyer to name but a few, making Gladwell have a fancy way of portraying his agreements and disagreements in the book (Schanzenbach n.p). Also, every person's sense of confidence and self-worth is derived from judgments about a peer group. Highly competitive institutions reach out to different and fast conclusions as they have students competing against each other and about who they are, their capabilities and their image. For example, a person's likelihood of dropping out from school of math or sciences cannot be termed as a function of intelligence, but a function of the people around you (Henry, 46).
Additionally, the book influences the attitude of people. For some reasons, people choose to interpret the circumstances they are indifferent. One of the chapters in the book talks about Emil Freireich, a famous oncologist. Freireich has a childhood relation of the Dickensian and goes to achieve many things in his oncology field. At one point, he describes his childhood life as horrendous where he flashbacks his life at sixteen as he was optimistic. Malcolm showcases in his book that good are bad and bad is good (Oh, n.p). The idea in the statement is to unveil its positive side and take a negative side or the vice versa. The theme of David and Goliath depicts this clearly where Gladwell argues that advantages can give us disadvantages or the vice versa. Nobody thought that dyslexia, a disability, could make people more successful (Vardell, 407).
He also, explores the two sides of a coin placing his arguments that power had led the Southern segregationists and the British army to underestimate the uprising in Alabama and Northern Ireland. Also, with Malcolm Gladwell, what appears to be local ends being global. The scenario is seen in the incident of David and Goliath where underdogs are willing to play by the set of varying rules that serves as an illuminating lens for events. The activity is diverse as the American's civil rights movement success and a basketball team that is inferior with inexperienced coaches making a national championship (Gladwell n.p).
Nonetheless, what seems to fail succeeds and what seems to succeed fails. Gladwell covers popular beliefs' evidence, institutions having small classes have no guarantee of making its students learn more. Here, Gladwell adopts the reverse strategy of underestimating the power of intuition and gives his opinion using the spot fake art (Vardell, 407). Additionally, what looks like order is disorder and the vice versa. We can understand better spreading systematic factors of Gladwell's three rules of epidemics, that is, the stickiness factor, the law of the few and the power of context. Confusion turns into clarity for the outliers. A genius man turns out to be a bouncer because of his difficult upbringing and so is the story of David and Goliath (Henry, 46).
Gladwell, Malcolm. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the art of battling giants. Hachette UK, 2013.
Henry, Russell R. "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference." (2015): 46.
Oh, Yuri. "[A Review of Books] Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath Summary." (2015).
Schanzenbach, Diane W. "Does class size matter?" (2014).
Vardell, Sylvia. "Poetry Power: Understanding Language, Content, and Culture through Poetry." Language Arts 94.6 (2017): 407.
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