Taylor, August 3, 2008 (view all comments by Taylor)
Gladwell offers an intriguing look at how the subconscious or intuition of a person works in different situations, as well as how it can be trained and the importance of sometimes taking a step back before acting on a situation. This is a relatively quick read with some intriguing ideas offered in it. If you like this book, you may find it useful to track down some of the writings by people he references as they go into more depth than Gladwell does.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Best-selling author Gladwell (The Tipping Point) has a dazzling ability to find commonality in disparate fields of study. As he displays again in this entertaining and illuminating look at how we make snap judgments — about people's intentions, the authenticity of a work of art, even military strategy — he can parse for general readers the intricacies of fascinating but little-known fields like professional food tasting (why does Coke taste different from Pepsi?). Gladwell's conclusion, after studying how people make instant decisions in a wide range of fields from psychology to police work, is that we can make better instant judgments by training our mind and senses to focus on the most relevant facts — and that less input (as long as it's the right input) is better than more. Perhaps the most stunning example he gives of this counterintuitive truth is the most expensive war game ever conducted by the Pentagon, in which a wily marine officer, playing 'a rogue military commander' in the Persian Gulf and unencumbered by hierarchy, bureaucracy and too much technology, humiliated American forces whose chiefs were bogged down in matrixes, systems for decision making and information overload. But if one sets aside Gladwell's dazzle, some questions and apparent inconsistencies emerge. If doctors are given an algorithm, or formula, in which only four facts are needed to determine if a patient is having a heart attack, is that really educating the doctor's decision-making ability — or is it taking the decision out of the doctor's hands altogether and handing it over to the algorithm? Still, each case study is satisfying, and Gladwell imparts his own evident pleasure in delving into a wide range of fields and seeking an underlying truth." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day"
by Farhad Manjoo, Salon.com,
"Brace yourself: The release of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Gladwell's delightful new book, is sure to inspire orgies of Gladwell-mania among the with-it set, and obsessives will soon begin popping up all around you....As in the best of Gladwell's work, Blink brims with surprising insights about our world and ourselves, ideas that you'll have a hard time getting out of your head, things you'll itch to share with all your friends." (read the entire Salon.com review)
"Review A Day"
by Anna Godbersen, Esquire,
"Nearly every argument in Gladwell's book is made by example, and these are invariably topical and interesting, and often lead you to picture some societal niche that you hadn't thought of before....The anecdotal method can be less than satisfying, however, and by the end of Blink I found myself longing for a book more drawn out and philosophical, the kind of thing you couldn't digest in a single flight." (read the entire Esquire review)
by Donna Seaman, Booklist,
"Gladwell writes about subtle yet crucial behavioral phenomena with lucidity and contagious enthusiasm....[His] groundbreaking explication of a key aspect of human nature is enlightening, provocative, and great fun to read."
by Library Journal,
"Gladwell gets the science facts right and has the journalistic skills to make them utterly engrossing....[F]or once a best seller will be more than worthy."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"The author's great strength lies in his stories, and here he crafts a number of engaging ones....Brisk, impressively done narratives that should sell very well indeed."
by David Brooks, The New York Times Book Review,
"If you want to trust my snap judgment, buy this book: you'll be delighted. If you want to trust my more reflective second judgment, buy it: you'll be delighted but frustrated, troubled and left wanting more."
by Howard Gardner, The Washington Post Book World,
"Readers acquainted with Gladwell's articles and his 2000 bestseller The Tipping Point will have high anticipations for this volume; those expectations will be met."
by Dallas Morning News,
"It's unlikely that Blink, a demanding and counter-intuitive book, will become a headline-friendly, cocktail-party meme like the ubiquitous Tipping Point. But it's a rich book filled with startling, seductive ideas. Don't blink or you'll miss something."
by Chicago Tribune,
"As with The Tipping Point, you may finish reading Blink with the vague feeling you've heard much of this before....Gladwell's true genius lies is in his ability to weave these bits into a compelling narrative."
"This absorbing little combo of pop science and self-help is indeed an easy read, like its mega-hit predecessor, The Tipping Point, but in the end it doesn't add up to much."
by Seattle Times,
"An entertaining psychology book....Blink is not a glib handbook of how to think, or a guide of what to think. But it will make you think about how you think, when you think in a blink."
by The Oregonian (Portland, OR),
"Gladwell...brings the strengths of an experienced reporter to his subject. His depth of sources and clarity of language allow him to deliver compelling stories from across the spectrum of American experience....[A] convincing and powerful book."
by Chicago Sun-Times,
"Much of the pleasure of Blink comes from the far-flung quality of the author's choice in subjects....Some of the best writing in Blink, however, are the examples in which 'blink' thinking actually failed miserably."
by Los Angeles Times,
"Intoxicating....Gladwell is an engaging writer and a first-rate tour guide."
How do we make decisions — good and bad — and why are some people so much better at it than others? That's the question Malcolm Gladwell asks and answers in the follow-up to his huge bestseller, The Tipping Point.
Utilizing case studies as diverse as speed dating, pop music, and the shooting of Amadou Diallo, Gladwell reveals that what we think of as decisions made in the blink of an eye are much more complicated than assumed. Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology, he shows how the difference between good decision-making and bad has nothing to do with how much information we can process quickly, but on the few particular details on which we focus.
Leaping boldly from example to example, displaying all of the brilliance that made The Tipping Point a classic, Gladwell reveals how we can become better decision makers — in our homes, our offices, and in everyday life. The result is a book that is surprising and transforming. Never again will you think about thinking the same way.
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