Outliers Summary

From the bestselling author of The Bomber Mafia, learn what sets high achievers apart—from Bill Gates to the Beatlesin this seminal work from "a singular talent" (New York Times Book Review).

In this stunning book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"—the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.

Book Reviews

jequcory davis

10/105 star

This was an amazing book. Start to finish. I’m literally going to read at least 2 more of his books if not all of them. Highly recommend.55


Facts4 star

Such an interesting collection of facts that has altered my way of thinking. I just wish there was more of a summation of something I could do to be more successful, it seems like these outliers had a fair bit of chance and luck to make them great.45


Redundant. Full of fluff.2 star

It’s so so. The same stories to back up his claims. I get it. The book could have been just two chapters to get the point across. Too many stats to keep me interested. I had to skim through a lot. Unenthusiastic in many ways. It’s not going to be a favorite.25

My kings

A very unique and creative perspective1 star

Very good book with interesting concepts and that often lead to self evaluation and re-examination/ discovery of my past. 3.5 because it becomes slightly over done at times ( however I believe it to be done to convey the author’s passion and belief in his theory.15


Gbhjio5 star

It was good55


Contemplative and interesting5 star

Some unique points of view (I assume), good read. Reminds one to take stock of their privileges and work hard for what they want in life.55

Tommy McSass

A Classic4 star

It’s definitely a classic and makes you think about what you value - both your inner appreciation for your own work ethic and your situational…luck.45


Outliers: the story of success4 star

It’s very interesting. I like it.45


Good but not like Talking To Strangers3 star

This was a very interesting audiobook. Gladwell looks at success through a different lens. He examines success not just by hard work but by timing. Gladwell explains the 10,000 hour rule - it takes 10,000 hours of intense practice to become an expert at something. But success is also a product of timing. The majority of professional hockey players are born at the beginning months of the year coinciding with the youth league age cutoff. Wealthiest men of the Industrial Age are born within 10 years. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, & Bill Joi born within months of each other. Gladwell also examines how culture plays a part of success too. However, I felt that Chapter 7 on plane crashes which examines cultural reasons for communication breakdowns during flight emergencies didn’t really fit into this book about “success.” After reading Gladwell’s book Talking to Strangers, this book was a bit of a disappointment. Overall it’s a good book but not at the same caliber as Talking to Strangers.35


Outliers5 star


Other Books by Malcolm Gladwell

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David and Goliath
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The Tipping Point
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