Master your Minecraft

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Best Books of the Year | December 7, 2014

    Gigi Little: IMG Best Kids' Books of 2014

    No, I'm sorry, it's impossible. The best kids' books of 2014? The best? Can't do it. There have been entirely too many exceptional examples of the... Continue »
    1. $11.87 Sale Board Book add to wish list


      Christopher Franceschelli and Peskimo 9781419713743

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $29.00
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Burnside Business- Personal Skills
1 Burnside Psychology- General

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants


David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants Cover

ISBN13: 9780316204361
ISBN10: 0316204366
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 3 left in stock at $19.95!



Staff Pick

Perceptive and surprising, Gladwell's new book illuminates the concepts of obstacles and adversity through moving and provocative stories. Demonstrating the unexpected or overlooked advantages to being disadvantaged, Gladwell once again offers an engaging and enlightening reinterpretation of a common perception.
Recommended by Michal D.,

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Malcolm Gladwell, the #1 bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw, offers his most provocative — and dazzling — book yet.

Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn't have won.

Or should he have?

In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.

Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland's troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms — all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity.

In the tradition of Gladwell's previous bestsellers — The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog SawDavid and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us.

About the Author

Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1996. Prior to that, he was a reporter at the Washington Post. Gladwell was born in England and grew up in rural Ontario. He lives in New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

Rick Vigorous, November 15, 2014 (view all comments by Rick Vigorous)
This book is about underdogs and their hidden potential to come out on top despite the odds seeming to be stacked against them. As one has come to expect from Gladwell’s books, the prose is crisp and his examples smartly chosen and illustrative. In many cases the stories are delightfully counterintuitive, teaching us that what we assume to be advantages can often be anything but.

So how does David beat Goliath?

He can adopt an unconventional strategy, typically one that is less pleasant and involves more work. This was done by Lawrence of Arabia, who led his ragtag team of Bedouins on camelback through hundreds of miles of desert to launch an attack on the Turkish-held city of Aqaba that was as unexpected as the journey was dangerous.

David can become stronger by using so-called “desirable difficulties" to his advantage. This was done by a boy who was diagnosed with dyslexia, but turned his difficulty into something positive by becoming an amazing listener and eventually one of the greatest trial lawyers of his generation, virtuosic in his ability to exploit a weakness in a witness’s testimony and win an argument.

David can take advantage of the confidence that comes from emerging through hardship intact. This was done by the anomalously large number of prominent historical figures who lost a parent early in life. It was also done by the Huguenots, a French religious sect that successfully and openly gave refuge to a large number of Jews during World War II. When your own people have been persecuted for generations, defying Nazi orders and helping some refugees doesn’t seem so impossible.

Gladwell’s method of illustrating his point through stories is effective and makes for breezy reading, but at times he comes pretty close to making it sound as if being an underdog is usually an advantage, which of course would be contrary to the word’s very definition. Several times he asks, provocatively, “You wouldn’t want your child to be dyslexic, would you?” and then goes on to suggest that “You just might.” He proceeds to relate some inspiring anecdotes about people--the president of Goldman Sachs among them--who overcame this obstacle in amazing ways to achieve great professional success. The closest that he comes to giving any statistical evidence on this point is another anecdote in which someone describes informally polling a roomful of business executives, at least half of whom put their hands up when asked whether anyone had a learning disability. Gladwell eventually covers himself by mentioning that, for every dyslexic with an inspiring success story, there are many more who aren’t able to overcome their handicap in such a spectacular way and--much to nobody’s surprise--have a harder life because of it. Is dyslexia or losing a parent really a “desirable difficulty”? I don’t think that Gladwell is trying to convince anybody that they are or that underdogs usually win in life, but given the emphasis that he puts on stories where that’s exactly what happens, the casual reader could be forgiven for coming away with that impression.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
writermala, May 31, 2014 (view all comments by writermala)
If I thought this was going to be an elaboration of the David and Goliath story I was mistaken. It was much more than that. Gladwell uses the story as a stating point to prove his premise that the "underdog" can oftentimes be the "Favorite." He uses examples of a School Basketball coach, the Civil Rights Movement, the conflict in Northern Ireland, an Oncologist, a couple of dyslexia sufferers, all to prove that adversity can be overcome and in fact used to achieve remarkable results. I was hooked right from Chapter 1, and stayed tuned till the very end. I agree with the author that "The powerful are not as powerful as they seem - nor the weak as weak."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Schmuckatelli, December 20, 2013 (view all comments by Schmuckatelli)
Meanwhile, back on the Kabutz...
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 5 comments

Product Details

Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
Gladwell, Malcolm
Little Brown and Company
Psychology : General
Publication Date:

Other books you might like

  1. The One and Only Ivan
    New Trade Paper $7.99
  2. Zen Entrepreneurship: Walking the... Used Trade Paper $6.95
  3. 419
    Sale Trade Paper $7.98
  4. From Portland's Palate: A Collection...
    Used Hardcover $10.50
  5. The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking: 15... Used Hardcover $10.95
  6. Arguably: Essays
    Used Trade Paper $10.00

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Business » Featured Titles
Business » General
Business » Marketing
Business » Personal Skills
Featured Titles » Bestsellers
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » New Arrivals » Nonfiction
Featured Titles » Staff Favorites
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Personality Disorders
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Featured Titles

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.95 In Stock
Product details pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316204361 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Perceptive and surprising, Gladwell's new book illuminates the concepts of obstacles and adversity through moving and provocative stories. Demonstrating the unexpected or overlooked advantages to being disadvantaged, Gladwell once again offers an engaging and enlightening reinterpretation of a common perception.

  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at