OUTLIERS is precisely what it purports to be: the story of success. But that story is probably not the one you think it is. According to Mr. Gladwell, success is a function not of a person’s intelligence or talent, but of his or her opportunities and legacy. He finds evidence for this claim in all of the expected places--the Canadian Hockey League, for instance, and Bill Gates’s life story--but also in a few less expected ones. Like the rice paddies of southern China. And the cockpits of Korean Air jetliners (back when they had a bad habit of crashing planes).
As someone who’s enjoyed a fair amount of success in life, I should probably find this book insulting:) (What’s that, Mr. Gladwell? I’m not really smarter/swifter/stronger than everybody else?) But I don’t. Because I think he’s right. My own life only confirms his theory. In terms of opportunity and legacy, I have been richly blessed.
OUTLIERS was a fascinating read. If you’re looking for a book to share with that eclectic reader in your life, this could definitely be the one. And if you’re that eclectic reader, definitely give this one a read.