A quick search on wikipedia reveals that Malcolm Gladwell's youth was far more nuanced than indicated in the review. A return to religion sounds affected.
Somehow I get the feeling that Gladwell exempts himself from a lot of criticisms...
For example: does Gladwell write about plastic surgery in any of his books? And if so, does he acknowledge and discuss the economics and meaning of his extremely obvious nose job?
I didn't read this as a critique of Gladwell and his works, but as a report on the criticisms and an attempt to understand their points. Way too brief for that. I have read all his books and like his style and content. Do I believe everything he writes is without fault? Well no, that would be silly. But he has an interesting spin on things and that is always valuable.
What do Gladwell and the author of this article have in common?
Exhibit A: Critics gonna critique, as the saying goes.
SMH. This critique needs to look in the mirror.
The reason people don't like Gladwell is because he symbolizes pseudo-intellectualism in society that has deep and lasting strains of anti-intellectualism. When you're faced with a large number of people that reject evolution and vaccinations as part of their drive to get rid of 'secularizing' forces and the rest of them believe in a reductive and anecdotal pseudoscience then those who are conducting real research and are taking the time to produce scientifically rigorous writing aren't left much of an audience. That's a problem, especially since the scientific method is probably the best way we have now of understanding the universe and making the human condition better and to have all that be ignored because it's 'not exciting enough' or 'too secular' is a fucking tragedy.
Why? Why a rant to tear down Gladwell? Anyone who puts anything "out there" will have critics. However, I can tell you I have many times applied the lessons provided in Gladwell's writings to everyday life and business. Gladwell provides insights and the reader is given the opportunity to make application--which I have. I continually refer back to lessons learned from concepts in his books including Connectors, Broken Window Syndrome, Speaking-up/Communication and more. David & Goliath provides insight into how disadvantages can be an impetus to some greater good. Not only does he illustrate it with powerful examples, but I have seen it played out in various other contexts.
Anxiously waiting for the next Gladwell book,
Jack W Bruce @JackWBruce
You might be interested in taking a look at McClanahan's previous book, Crapalachia: A Biography of Place.
Thanks for the clarification.
Truckers didn't go to those extremes when I was your age. I guess the pressures today are different.
Anyway, excellent article, but one question:
We say that Appalachia is in the South, but isn't it distinctly different from the rest of the South. Look at Kentucky and West Virginia the core of Appalachia; even though they have a racist history, they still refused to join the Confederacy. They're not the same Southerners.
Did the author address that ?
Sorry, didn't mean to go over your head with that one, LWC.
Truck stops used to sell these powerful little ephedrine pills at the register that would help long haul drivers stay awake during overnight drives, so they became known as "trucker speed" or "cross tops" (for the cross that would be embossed on the top of the pill). Back when I worked in restaurants, guys who worked the line would pop a couple to make it through a double. A few years ago, the crackdown on ephedrine forced those manufacturers to change their formulas for the stuff known as "trucker speed." Now, the pills that you'll find at the counter of truck stops are basically just caffeine.
As for your other question, most of my off time is spent drinking coffee and reading books. I'm pretty sure that my bosses are aware of what a nerd I am.
Your drug-of-choice references are a little too hip for the room. We don't know what "trucker speed" is, nor "cross-topped ephedrine".
Do Debbie and/or Sharry know what you're doing in your off time ?
"The Beatles had the same percentage of filller"
Not even close, dude. Do not make me break this down for you in an Excel spreadsheet complete with line graphs and pivot tables.
Haha - should have just let the benign observation sit there...I had to provoke him.
Ringo hit the drums. Charlie Watts plays the drums. The Beatles had the same percentage of filller, just less time, and they couldn't keep it up. The worst singer in the Stones is definitely Keef. Just dig my third favorite Stones tune "Happy." It's horrible! I love it!
Ringo hit the drums twice as hard as Charlie Watt. The Beatles also didn't have entire decades worth of filler, and knew when to hang it up. Lastly, the worst singer in the Beatles played drums. The worst singer in the Stones was the frontman.
the Rolling Stones has Balls
Ain't never heard a no Johnny ORANGE-seed have ya?
Daan-dah daduhdaaa...dadadanana...Daan-daah daduhdaaa...dadadanana....
Apples and oranges. Still, this seems like a good read.
both were great bands but when it comes time to choose a pandora station, i'll take Creedence or Zeppelin.
I haven't read the book yet but I will. Here's my definitive take on the debate: http://jakepollard3.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/beatles-vs-stones/
That thugs-gentlemen commentary says more about Sean O'Mahony's class prejudices than anything else. The Beatles were working class blokes, the Stones from middle class families.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation