Outliers Book Analysis

2005 Words 9 Pages
The book Outliers: The Story of Success expands the idea of successful people. Through each chapter, the author, Malcolm Gladwell, explains various success stories, but he counteracts the idea that people’s achievements are based on luck. Instead, he forces readers to look beyond the individual to understand how success works and outliers are made through a variety of themes.
Under the heading “The Matthew Effect,” Gladwell introduces the first chapter with a scene about Gordie Howe, a talented hockey player in Canada. He goes on to explain how Howe got to where he was due to his ability and individual merit. The author then switches gears and explains that the book is not about those who are successful due to ability and merit, but rather
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The topic was introduced through a game show called 1 vs. 100, which featured Christopher Lagan as the special guest, who was known as then known as the smartest man in America and a celebrity outlier. As the story continues, Langan’s fame is explained by his outrageous IQ score and ability to catch on to things quickly. The author then introduces Lewis Terman and his interest in intelligence testing. He created a study about the gifted. He believed that an individual IQ was the most important thing about them, besides their morals (Gladwell 74). Consequently, Gladwell contradicts Terman ideas by making the statement that “The relationship between success and IQ works only up to a point. Once someone has reached an IQ of somewhere around 120, having additional IQ points doesn’t seem to translate into any measurable real-world advantage” (Gladwell 79). He emphasizes this concept by introducing a different IQ test known as a divergence test, where students are given two objects, a brick and a blanket, and asked them to come up with as many different uses they could think of. The results are not what one would image. The student with the lower IQ score came up with multiple ways to use the objects, while students with a higher IQ score came up with the least number of ways to use the objects. I highly agree with this point. Ultimately succeed cannot be measured by one’s IQ. …show more content…
The first lesson is the importance of being Jewish. This lesson had to do with Joe Flom. He was known as the scholar who attended Harvard Law and was discriminated against for being Jewish when he applied for jobs. The limit in opportunity caused him to join the small new firm of Jewish lawyers, Skadden, Aprs. These men had been passed for partner at a major Wall Street law firm. In hopes of being successful, they had to be adaptable and talk anything that was given to them. During the 1950s to 1960s what entered was what the white-shoe firms disdained, litigation and proxy fights. (Gladwell 125). From the mid 1970s to 1980s, the money involved in mergers and acquisitions increased about 2000 percent, and all of a sudden everyone needed a lawyer, and choose the small Jewish law firm who had the reputation. Ultimately, the author believes that Flom overcame the odds that were against him and succeed. However, I disagree that Flom’s heritage affected his career. Although he was Jewish, it was not the real reason he was not given a job on Wall Street. The reason he didn’t secure the job was because his experience didn’t make him stand out in comparison to the other contenders. The second lesson is about demographic luck. This lesson goes into detail about being demographically lucky and unlucky through the story of Maurice Janklow and his son Mort Janklow. Maurice, who attended law school in 1919, didn’t succeed as much as his son, who

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