David and Goliath

Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
by Malcolm Gladwell | 352 pages

As millions of people would agree, Malcolm Gladwell is an extraordinarily (!) captive writer. This is another one of Gladwell’s gems—packed with riveting stories that challenge our notion of what it means to be an underdog and how, as the sub-title suggests, we can embrace our misfit status as we master the art of battling giants. It’s awesome—especially if you’re looking for a fun, entertaining read that’s packed with wisdom but delivered in a delightful package. Big Ideas include the fact that David SHOULD have won, full-court presses, the inverted U, earning courage and desirable difficulties.


“David and Goliath is a book about what happens when ordinary people confront giants. By ‘giants,’ I mean powerful opponents of all kinds—from armies and mighty warriors to disability, misfortune, and oppression. Each chapter tells the story of a different person—famous or unknown, ordinary or brilliant—who has faced an outsize challenge and been forced to respond. Should I play by the rules or follow my own instincts? Shall I persevere or give up? Should I strike back or forgive?

Through these stories, I want to explore two ideas. The first is that much of what we consider valuable in our world arises out of these kinds of lopsided conflicts, because the act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty. And second, that we consistently get these kinds of conflicts wrong. We misread them. We misinterpret them. Giants are not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness. And the fact of being an underdog can change people in ways that we often fail to appreciate; it can open doors and create opportunities and educate and enlighten and make possible what might otherwise have seemed unthinkable. We need a better guide to facing giants—and there is no better place to start that journey than with the epic confrontation between David and Goliath three thousand years ago in the Valley of Elah.”

~ Malcolm Gladwell from David and Goliath

As millions of people would agree, Malcolm Gladwell is an extraordinarily (!) captive writer.

This is another one of Gladwell’s gems—packed with riveting stories that challenge our notion of what it means to be an underdog and how, as the sub-title suggests, we can embrace our misfit status as we master the art of battling giants.

It’s awesome—especially if you’re looking for a fun, entertaining read that’s packed with wisdom but delivered in a delightful package. (Get the book here.)

Although not a self-help book per se (making it more challenging to create this Note!), I’m excited to pull out a handful of my favorite Big Ideas and shine a light on some wisdom we can apply to our lives today. We’re barely going to scratch the surface but let’s jump straight in!

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About the author

Authors

Malcolm Gladwell

Journalist, bestselling author, and speaker.