malcolm gladwell

I am a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell – we even share the same initials! However his latest article in the New Yorker is poor by any standards.

I couldn’t bring myself to finish the article.  I stop by the time he was arguing that the Federal Reserve should make decisions in real time; I thought to myself: this is bollocks and I am getting seriously bored!  At that point, I have already been thoroughly annoyed by the Lawrence of Arabia story.  In short, the stories were bad and badly told that I wasn’t curious enough to find out they ended!

The Malcolm Gladwell writing style, which is his trademark and conquered so many fans worldwide seems, in this article, sluggish and deeply patronising.  The examples in this story lack of the universal appeal that other seemed to have and the overall theory seems too stifled – wars are not the same as basketball games.  Games have rules and are confined to a particular geographical space.  Wars are about humans and rules and space are invented as we go along.  It is obvious that tactical acumen can change the outcome.  It is certainly a variable, but to suggest that this alone can swing things the opposite way is fanciful.

I guess I am getting tired of Malcolm Gladwell’s quirkiness. He is increasingly looking like a one trick pony. Outliers, his most recent book, got a beating in several areas of the press and, I think, quite rightfully.  The style is the same as before, but the content quality is decreasing – it is getting way too exoteric and lacking of the focus of past (and great) articles.

Recently, Malcolm Gladwell announced a new tour in the UK and I couldn’t even pretend to be interested – I didn’t even suggest friends to go.


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