Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Path to Success

937 Words4 Pages
Imagine a book that offers the reader a key; a key that enables them to ride down the highway to success and see all of the stops along the way that are instrumental in achieving success. Malcolm Gladwell does precisely this in his novel Outliers, which examines some of history’s most successful people and then attempts to explain why they specifically became successful beyond their wildest dreams. Gladwell is a reporter for The New Yorker and an accomplished author in the areas of psychology, sociology, and social psychology. In Outliers, he presents his reasoning as to why some people become successful and some do not. One of his major points in this regard is the ten thousand hour rule, meaning that to master a topic and become extremely successful in that area, one must accumulate at least ten thousand hours of practice in that area. He closely examines the early lives and careers of some of history’s greatest success stories to make a fine argument for his case. However, his strong arguments in support of his theories on success are not as strong when they come to countering the “typical view”, as Gladwell sees it. Outliers is different than most persuasive novels in that by proving his point, Gladwell does not necessarily disprove other people’s view on success. He effortlessly utilizes logos, along with numerous examples and parallelisms to support his theories. However, his lack of ethos and strong counter-argument allows for the audience to understand his ten thousand hour rule without necessarily supporting it wholeheartedly. After proposing something unthinkable to the average mind, Gladwell goes on to explain his ten thousand hour rule theory using two, very descriptive, very in-depth anecdotes. He shows how multi-bil... ... middle of paper ... ...ew of success, readers can believe that his ten thousand hour rule works but is not something everyone must have to be successful. Even with the few lacking details of his novel, Outliers is still an enjoyable experience that everybody can learn from. It is a novel that shows the audience a new point of view on success and can help people discover what is truly takes, sometimes, to be successful. The knowledge contained in the book is universally sound, offering excellent advice for all those who are willing to take the time and listen. In today’s current atmosphere of doubt, stemming from the Recession and events in the Middle East, the world could use a few more outliers to take the lead. By reading Malcolm Gladwell’s novel, maybe we could spur the creation of a few more. Works Cited Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers. New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2008. Print.
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