Malcolm Gladwell poses a more provocative question in Outliers: why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our cherished belief of the “self-made man,” he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don’t arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: “they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.” Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, he builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of advantages, “some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky.”
Why do Asian kids outperform American kids in math? How did Bill Gates become a billionaire computer entrepreneur? Was there something simplydifferent about Mozart?
New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell takes on these questions and more in his new book, Outliers: The Story of Success. From corporate lawyers to talented hockey players to high-achieving students, Gladwell identifies “outliers” as those who have “been given opportunities, and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”