Across his many bestselling books, Canadian writer Malcolm Gladwell uses a simple yet counter-intuitive ‘what if’ the way Jackson Pollock used the flick of a wrist. What if first impressions were more accurate than we credit, he asked in 2005’s ‘Blink’. Its follow-up, ‘Outliers’, considered whether chance plays a greater role in success than natural ability.
With his latest, ‘David And Goliath’, Gladwell gets biblically contrary on our asses – using the classic story of inequality as a springboard to ask whether perceived strengths are in fact weaknesses and vice-versa.
To mark the release of the book, Gladwell brings his fantastic oratory and storytelling gifts to the stage for two unique talks that aim to upend concepts of advantage and disadvantage.
The spreading of ideas – through memes, TED talks and even stand-up shows like Russell Brand’s recent ‘Messiah Complex’ – has undergone a strangely fashionable renaissance since the turn of the century. Gladwell’s accessibility as a writer and fondness for teasing ‘what ifs’ has put him at the forefront of this movement, despite constant sniping from the twin worlds of journalism and academia. One would guess that such attacks would put him at a disadvantage, but then, what do we know? Oliver Keens