A FINANCIAL TIMES BEST BOOK OF 2019
Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Outliers, offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers -- and why they often go wrong.
How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn't true?
While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers, you'll hear the voices of people he interviewed--scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There's even a theme song - Janelle Monae's "Hell You Talmbout."
Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don't know. And because we don't know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.
Malcolm Timothy Gladwell (born September 3, 1963) is a Canadian journalist, author, and public speaker. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He has published six books: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000); Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005); Outliers: The Story of Success (2008); What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009), a collection of his journalism; and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (2013). His first five books were on The New York Times Best Seller list. His sixth book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know, was released in September 2019. He is also the host of the podcast Revisionist History and co-founder of the podcast company Pushkin Industries. Gladwell's books and articles often deal with the unexpected implications of research in the social sciences and make frequent and extended use of academic work, particularly in the areas of sociology, psychology, and social psychology. Gladwell was appointed to the Order of Canada on June 30, 2011...
I wanted to like this book; I bought it on Gladwell’s reputation (I loved Tipping Point) but found Talking to Strangers lacking any insight or original thought. I also liked (but didn’t love) blink and outliers. He is certainly talented. I muscled though half of this book before throwing in the towel and writing this review. It felt like a walk back in time through some of history’s darkest interpersonal moments. I found it rather dark and bending a bit to typically new-social norms. Sorry, I recommend passing on this one. 15
Can’t rate and review if it won’t download. Waste of $12.99 15
Although some of the stories were interesting, they were distracting from the books title I fail to see him tying much together here. 15
I guess that I set my expectations too high. Lots of research, crime investigations and so on, but very little valuable tips about “talking to strangers”. I didn’t like this book. 35
Again he has written a book I could not put down! Learned a lot. Things I had not thought about. 55
As always, Malcolm Gladwell delivers thought provoking reading. His narrative was excellent and well thought out. I devoured this book and could not believe how absorbed I was by it. 55
Back again w an authentic format delivered as he has for the past decade or so. Very compelling look inside the human core. Using a small set principles highlighted in Blink, he makes a larger call to “Checking ones self, before wrecking ones self”. 55
Great book for the times we are faced with as a society today. Highly recommend this book to everyone living in the United States. It will give you more perspective on the social issues at hand. 55
Gladwell does it again! 55
Well-written with lots of information and insight 55