Friday, April 8, 2011

Review: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping PointThe Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Malcolm Gladwell has a unique way of talking about subjects I have never in my life thought about. Gladwell defines The Tipping Point as, "a reaffirmation of the potential for change and the power of intelligent action." He goes on to say that the world seems static and immoveable but with some penetrating observation, and "with the slightest push - in just the right place - it can be tipped." The Tipping Point is the "biography of an idea . . . the simplest way to understand the emergence of fashion trends, the ebb and flow of crime waves . . . Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do."

Gladwell takes a provacative subject, supports it with vast research and palpable examples and gives this big idea the delight of a storybook. Gladwell takes us from the subways of New York to Sesame Street to Baltimore's drug and STD problem to Micronesia's suicide epidemic and back again to Airwalk and the groundbreaking campaign of Lambesis. And this doesn't even cover it all!

I most enjoyed the discussion of the filthy graffiti covered subway cars in New York in the 1980s and the associated high crime rate. A new subway director took seemingly simple ideas like cleaning up the graffiti and arresting fare-beaters and turned them into the start of a lower crime rate.

I loved this book. Gladwell's very readable non-fiction is fun to read and helps me feel that I am still an intelligent college grad who can understand concepts that stretch beyond motherhood and laundry

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1 comment:

monica ruck said...

did you guys catch this video of Adam Gopnik and Malcolm Gladwell