David and Goliath like you’ve never heard this story before! I have enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell’s writing ever since a wise seminary professor put a copy of The Tipping Point on my personal reading list. In addition to gobbling up each of his books, I savour his articles in The New Yorker. Gladwell’s mind works in ways that delight, challenge, encourage and confound. Gladwell is for this preacher/storyteller an inspiration! Gladwell is a storyteller’s storyteller.
Gladwell’s latest book David and Goliath demonstrates his considerable abilities when it comes to using stories to challenge long-held assumptions. While the book shatters assumptions about underdogs, assumptions and seemingly lost causes. Whether you agree or disagree with Gladwell’s assertions, you’ll find yourself thinking or re-thinking your own biases. It’s a positively splendid read.
Of his own work Gladwell writes: “I write in the genre of what might be called “intellectual adventure stories.” Books like David and Goliath combine narratives and ideas from academic research in an attempt to get people to look at the world a little differently. I have always tried to be honest about the shortcomings of this approach. Stories necessarily involve ambiguity and contradiction. They do not always capture the full range of human experience. Their conclusions can seem simplified or idiosyncratic. But at the same time stories have extraordinary advantages. They can reach large numbers of people and move them and serve as the vehicle for powerful insights.”
Gladwell is a Canadian journalist, raised in the Mennonite tradition. In an article in the Huffington Post, Gladwell discusses his return to religion. here
To wet your appetite or just for sheer entertainment value, watch this TED talk in which Gladwell demonstrates his considerable storytelling/preaching abilities while covering the first part of his book.