David and Goliath: A Review by Tian Yu

DavidGoliathCoverMalcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants gives a new point of view on how we perceive underdogs and giants and, through a cunning use of examples, shows how disadvantages can often be turned around in our favor. The book uses some very interesting examples to prove its point, starting with the famous historical battle between the shepherd boy David and the monster of a warrior Goliath. It seemed obvious that David had absolutely no chance from the beginning, which is what made his victory a staple underdog story. However, Gladwell takes apart what appears to be an impossible situation and shows how the victory was not only possible from the beginning, but how David actually had all the advantages.


David and Goliath gives a very interesting and new perspective on how we see conflicts or disabilities. And unlike most books on the issue, David and Goliath gives relatable or well-known examples to back up its claims. These range from how Lawrence of Arabia defeated the Turks in World War II, to how dyslexia may actually not have been all bad for those like David Boies, who actually learned skills from dealing with his disorder that helped him rise to be one of the best lawyers in the US.


Overall, David and Goliath is a fantastic book for learning how to  weigh advantages and disadvantages and applying this knowledge to your advantage. Malcolm Gladwell does a wonderful job of showing this is a relatable and accessible way. I would definitely recommend this for everyone to read, especially teens since a down to earth, applicable book of popular psychology contrasts nicely with the dystopian/fantasy genre that’s currently all the rage.


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