Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success. Essay Example

Published: 2023-08-22
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success. Essay Example
Essay type:  Book review
Categories:  Personality Leadership style Books Writers
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 881 words
8 min read

Malcolm Timothy Gladwell was born on September 3, 1963 (Donahue 100). He is an English-born Canadian who works as a journalist, author, and public speaker. Malcolm has written and published six books namely; What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009) The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), Talking to Strangers (2019 Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005) and Outliers: The Story of Success (2008). He co-founded a podcast company called Pushkin Industries, and additionally, he hosts a podcast called Revisionist History.

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In the book Outliers, Malcolm assesses the factors contributing to achieving greater levels of achievement. To back his claim, Malcolm explains why many of ice hockey players from Canada are born in the first months of the year, how the co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates succeeded in attaining his massive wealth, and how a group called Beatles turned out to be one of the most prosperous groups in musical arts in history. Additionally, how a man named Joseph Flom built Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom into one of the most accomplished firms worldwide, how differences in culture play a significant role in perceived intelligence and rational judgment, lastly, how Christopher Langan and Robert Oppenheimer two people with exceptional intelligence ended up with vastly diverse fortunes (Gladwell 300).

Throughout the book, the author Malcolm, mentions the "10000-Hour Rule" repeatedly. He asserts that the basis for attaining top-notch expertise in any field is by performing the right way for approximately 10000 hours. Therefore, the book Outliers determines that successful people have not achieved success because they are gifted, talented, or have a termination. The author explains that these achievements happen because of external contextual factors.

What plays a more significant role in the success of individuals, opportunities, or cultural legacies? Why?

Cultural legacies are considered to be prevailing powers that are deep-rooted and long-lasting. They prevail generation after generation even after some economic, political, and social demographics that initiated them vanish. Cultural legacies play a vital role in directing attitudes and behaviors that people are dependent on because they cannot understand the world without them.

In the book Outliers, success comes from the accumulation of various advantages such as: when and where a person was born, what the parents or guardians of a person do for a living, and the circumstances of an individual's upbringing. For instance, in chapter 5, readers assert that Jim Flom's Jewish culture enabled him to have access to several opportunities that paved the way for his massive accomplishment.

Malcolm examined four distinct cultural legacies: the culture of honor in South America, the culture of deference in Korea, thirdly, the culture of hard work among the Asians, and the culture of western education, especially in the KIPPS schools. After reading about all these different cultures, the reader understands that cultural legacy asserts that it matters where a person comes from specifically culturally, not geographically.

The book Outliers begins with a story about a town called Roseto in Pennsylvania, inhabited by immigrants from Italy. The people residing in this town have lower heart disease cases even though they do not eat healthily. Therefore a specialist Stewart Wolf and his team, come to the town to investigate why people from other towns are affected by heart diseases; however, people from Roseto are not. Doctor Stewart concludes that neither family, diet, nor ancestry had nothing to do with the anomaly. What was consistent was how the family and residents of Roseto were tightly knit. It was their culture that made them not suffer from heart disease. Therefore, their cultural legacy, a church-based lifestyle, and close families made them live successfully without sickness.

Additionally, KIPP schools found in the Bronx had students that came from harsh environments that most people assume that the students will eventually fail academically or drop out of school. However, students have exemplary results. The school consists of black and Hispanic learners whose cultural legacies are assumed not to take education seriously, but in reality, KIPP has taken the idea of cultural legacies seriously. They have summer classes, and the students stay in school for longer periods. The extended time in school allows the students to have a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere where the learners can question and struggle their ways through problems at their own pace.

Asians are good in numbers because, for instance, the Chinese, number system is very consistent. The remembrance of the numerals is determined by the period a person uses to pronounce the digit. The Chinese digits are a direct copy of the number system. Therefore, from a young age, a Chinese child would recite these numbers, which he or she will eventually memorize. As a result, the individual becomes very good at solving mathematical equations more quickly than his or her peers from different cultures. This type of person's cultural legacies can make them very successful in areas such as finance, statistics, and writing algorithms.

In summary, the cultural legacy establishes an individual's fate and their course of success. In this book, cultural legacy is a significant feature of success. The notion is supported in the first chapter when he says, "People don't arise from nothing. We do owe something to parentage and patronage….".

Works Cited

Donahue, Deirdre. "Malcolm Gladwell's' Success' defines' outlier'achievement." USA Today 11.18 (2008): 2008.

Gladwell, Malcolm. "Outlier." Retrieved April 30 (2008): 2015.

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