Instaread Summary, Analysis & Review of Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
Five out of five stars
The opening sections of the summary state what all of us already know, humans have a propensity to root for the underdog. The classic biblical tale of David versus Goliath is repeated in the myths and legends of many cultures. Down through history, there are many incidents of powerful military forces with more advanced weapons being defeated by much smaller forces that adopted guerilla tactics. As is stated in the summary, powerful armies often make the mistake of using what is considered overwhelming force. Examples from the recent past are “bomb them back to the Stone Age” and “shock and awe.”
The section with the key takeaways makes the book sound like a powerful argument of encouragement for people that must overcome difficult challenges. This includes more than just going up against a powerful foe, the examples include dealing with problems such as dyslexia and the death of a parent at an early age.
The most revealing and valuable section of the summary is the “Author’s Style” section. There is the sentence:
“He transmits complicated concepts from social science or psychology in simple, and sometimes simplistic, form.”
Followed by the explanatory paragraph:
“But Gladwell never convincingly explains why all these ideas belong in one book or how he sees them fitting together. The focus on underdogs blurs into a hazy discussion of unexpected outcomes, not all of which are particularly unexpected. Individual topics remain interesting, but Gladwell’s overall conclusions are banal, vague, and not especially compelling.”
This section of analysis will tell nearly all prospective readers that this is a book with little in the way of new knowledge. Stories about the triumph of the weaker over the mighty are always uplifting, for most people are in the weaker category. Without solid conclusions, this is a book lacking in significance and the author of the summary is to be commended for letting the reader know that.