The Bottom Line
You think you know what happened when David met Goliath, but Malcolm Gladwell thinks we’ve misread the story. Society tends to overestimate the advantages of power and underestimate the impact of resilience and adaptability for the underdog. David and Goliath explores the many reasons you may want to put your money on the “little guy.”
Invoking the Biblical battle of the Israelite shepherd boy David squaring off against the Philistine giant Goliath, David and Goliath is a book about what happens when regular people confront disproportionately powerful opponents.
These opponents don’t necessarily need to be individuals or even a group of people — sometimes, Gladwell writes, our most overwhelming “opponent” is a struggle with poverty, disability or oppression.
With his masterful mix of history, psychology and creative storytelling, Gladwell—best-selling author of The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers—shows us examples of how people have responded to and unexpectedly overcome outsized challenges, forcing us to rethink what it means to have a disadvantage or encounter a setback.
The obstacles and victories that Gladwell describes serve not only to inspire us, but also to teach us about how we conceive of and often misinterpret strength and weakness.
II. The Strong Are Not Always What They Seem
III. Underdogs Should Switch Up Their Strategies
IV. The Advantages of Disadvantages — and Vice Versa
V. The Downside of Fancy Credentials
VI. Challenge Builds Resilience—and New Skills
VII. Power Can Backfire
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