- Hardcover: 640 pages
- Publisher: Thorndike Press; Large type / large print edition edition (October 18, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316535575
- ISBN-13: 978-0316535571
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.2 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 689 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1.167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know Hardcover – Large Print, 18 October 2019
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"Mr. Gladwell's towering success rests on the moment when the skeptic starts to think that maybe we're wrong about everything and maybe, just maybe, this Gladwell guy is onto something...Talking to Strangers is weightier than his previous titles."--Amy Chozick, New York Times
"Another Gladwell tour de force...intellectually stimulating...Readers expecting another everything-you-think-you-know-is-wrong page-turner will not be disappointed."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Gladwell interviews brilliant people, generates powerful insights, writes like an angel, and has earned a massive and admiring audience. He has a keen eye and a witty flair and he's one of the best observationalists of a generation. Gladwell is a big-picture thinker who helps us make sense of the human condition."--Bob Brisco, WebMD Magazine
"Engaging...Mr. Gladwell [presents] a mountain of quirky anecdotes and interesting research about our blunders with strangers, and why we make them...It's fascinating to peek at these incidents through Mr. Gladwell's psychological lens."--Leigh Anne Focareta, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Talking to Strangers is a must-read...I love this book... Reading it will actually change not just how you see strangers, but how you look at yourself, the news--the world...Reading this book changed me."--Oprah Winfrey, O, The Oprah Magazine
"Powerful advice on truly getting to know others...Gladwell brilliantly argues that we should stop assuming, realize no one's transparent and understand that behavior is tied to unseen circumstances."--People, Book of the Week
"Gladwell has again delivered a compelling, conversation-starting read...At a time when the world feels intractably polarized, a book examining the varying ways we misinterpret or fail to communicate with one another could not feel more necessary...With a mix of reporting, research and a deft narrative hand, Gladwell illuminates these examples with the page-turning urgency of a paperback thriller."--Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
"Gladwell's case studies are thrilling...Chock-full of gripping anecdotes from the recent and forgotten past. He uses these riveting stories to offer up bite-size observations about how we engage with strangers."--Maggie Taft, Booklist
"Both fascinating and topical...A thoughtful treatise...Gladwell writes in his signature colorful, fluid, and accessible prose."--Publishers Weekly
"As always, with his narrative gift and eye for the telling detail, Gladwell peppers his work with unforgettable facts... He has immense gifts--a probing, original, questioning mind, an ability to dig up information others haven't considered and tie it to a broader point. He has a narrative skill nonpareil."--Stephen Galloway, Hollywood Reporter
About the Author
Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers--The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History, which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and Broken Record, where he, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview musicians across a wide range of genres. Gladwell has been included in the TIME 100 Most Influential People list and touted as one of Foreign Policy's Top Global Thinkers.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I almost didn’t make it past the introduction. In my pre-publication copy, Gladwell writes, “The Sandra Bland case came in the middle of a strange interlude in American public life” and then goes on to discuss a series of cases of police violence against black people that happened around 2014.
“Strange interlude.” Really?
That phrasing suggests that this treatment was some sort of aberration in American history and that the violence only happened during the few years he references. Did Gladwell really mean to ignore America’s long history of this problem?
I don’t think so? I think he may have meant that the attention paid to police violence was unusual, but dude, choose your words much more carefully.
Later on, there are some good points made about how and why we tend to misunderstand each other.
But, again, I almost put the book down, this time while reading the chapter on the Brock Turner sexual assault case. Without going into detail, that chapter could only have been written by someone who's buried his head in the sand over the past five years or so.
It’s tough to ignore the problematic elements of Talking to Strangers. I could definitely see the discussion of the causes of sexual assault offending some readers to the point that they abandon the book altogether. I’ve definitely enjoyed other books by the author a lot more than this one. Two stars.
Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for giving me a DRC of this book.
Studies show that most of us who encounter apparently benevolent individuals are predisposed to believe that they are not putting on an act. Conversely, when we meet a man or woman who behaves weirdly or inappropriately, we are likely to jump to negative conclusions about him or her, even when there is little hard evidence to support our assumptions. The author suggests that many of us have an inflated opinion of our ability to size up people. Research suggests that we are not as objective as we would like to believe, and are therefore prone to misinterpret comments, intonations, facial expressions, and gestures. Moreover, we do not always realize that people whose backgrounds differ from ours may communicate in unfamiliar ways.
Gladwell asks: How did double-agents who telegraphed their guilt get away with their treasonous behavior for so long? Why didn't everyone recognize Madoff for what he is—a ruthless swindler? Which of Amanda Knox's personality traits, remarks, and deeds convinced Italian authorities that she killed her roommate? These compelling examples raise intriguing questions about why we sometimes reach erroneous conclusions when we assess the truthfulness of our fellow human beings. it should be noted that a few chapters in this book—such as the essays on suicide, young adults who drink so heavily that they black out, and the efforts of police to cut down on crime—are thought-provoking but oversimplified and not particularly relevant to Gladwell's central premise. Still, this work of non-fiction is an entertaining and enlightening wake-up call. We should be cautious when we decide who our friends are as opposed to who is likely to stab us in the back. Too often we are dead wrong.
If you are new to Gladwell, you will greatly enjoy "Talking to Strangers"... as it is a must read for anybody who needs to make snap judgements about people's character and behavior.
Of course, if you are a fan of Gladwell, you will of course enjoy it, especially if you hear it on Audible. Gladwell produces the Audible version as if it was an extended episode of his "Revisionist History" Podcast. The music and all the extra interviews from actual people, really brings the book to life.
Heck... if you don't like it, return it... though if you start, you will probably keep it.