April 18, 2014
The Liberty Lake Splash
23403 E Mission Ave Ste 102
PO Box 363
Liberty Lake, WA 99019
Phone: 509-242-7752
Fax: 509-927-2190
Map
News Blog Business Community Opinion Sports

More News

Calendar of Events

Annual egg hunt to take place April 19

‘Heidi’ comes to life via Readers Theater

Equine TLC relocates with hopes to expand services
Nonprofit Spotlight

In the April Wave: Battle of the Books; April activities for kids
The Wave is a special section just for kids, geared toward children in kindergarten through fifth grade

In the April Fountain: Program covers homebound readers
The Fountain is a special section about and for Liberty Lake seniors

History: Dancers let loose at lake venues

On the April Library page: Library expands digital offerings; Book Review

Profiles: A taste of European diplomacy
LL college student embarking on third international experience

Obituary
Howard S. Dolphin

Community and Education Briefs

Search the News Archive Search the News Archive

Conventional wisdom is challenged in ‘David & Goliath’
11/26/2013 1:00:54 PM

By Daniel Pringle 
Liberty Lake Municipal Library

Malcolm Gladwell's best-selling books describe the sometimes counterintuitive facts behind many everyday things and how much of what we accept as true often is not. "David & Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants" offers a great example of this theme, as Gladwell examines situations in which the conventional wisdom proves to be wrong. Situations where, looking at it on paper, we would see disaster, instead triumph emerges. Illustrated in the form of personal profiles, Gladwell distills considerable research into relatable stories of times when the expected outcomes don't play out, when an enviable position actually confers a deficit, or when those that appear to be at great disadvantage - a humble shepherd facing a warrior-giant - possess an unexpected edge.

For example, consider these statements: children in smaller classes do better; tough three-strikes-you're-out laws deter crime; a top-tier college will set up even mediocre students for post-grad success; dyslexic children can't rise to the top of corporate or professional echelons.

According to Gladwell, not so: too much attention from teachers and peers disrupts the learning dynamic of a classroom; harsh, unfair sentences delegitimize law enforcement; students surrounded by higher-achieving classmates are less likely to follow through on the challenging degree and profession they intended to pursue; some kids with learning disabilities develop strategies that propel them to the top of the medical, legal or entertainment worlds. With characteristic clarity of language and persuasion, Gladwell asks us to question assumptions like these and never count out the little guy.

Daniel Pringle is adult services and reference librarian at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library.

Advertisement

Copyright © 2014 Peridot Publishing | Print Page