Tag: California

Malcolm Gladwell – David & Goliath | Review

Title: David & Goliath

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 308

Rating: 3/5

I usually enjoy reading Malcolm Gladwell’s stuff, but this one was a little bit of a disappointment. I think the problem was that it was just far too basic – it basically shares a simple idea in a couple of pages and then spends the remaining 300 pages to give a bunch of examples. By about halfway through, I was thinking about DNFing it, but I stuck with it. I’m not sure whether I’m glad or not.

Basically, the idea is that it’s often the underdog who comes out on top, because they’re able to be more nimble and to use that to give them a competitive advantage. We see this in the story of David vs Goliath, although Gladwell argues that David was always the likely winner because he had a sling and Goliath was wearing heavy, cumbersome armour. He had no chance of getting close to David in the first place.

Then he talks at length about all sorts of different organisations, from the classic examples like Apple and Google to more obscure examples, such as the guy who campaigned for the three strikes law in California. It turns out that while the idea of harsher punishments might be a smart one, it just doesn’t really work in practice.

Overall, would I recommend this? Nah, I would not. It’s not that it’s terrible, it’s just pretty boring and not Gladwell’s best by a long shot. I’d recommend something like Blink instead. I still intend to read all of his books at some point, but it might take me a little longer to get to them now. He’s gone down a lot in my esteem and that’s a bit of a bummer. But it is what it is.

Learn more about David & Goliath.

 


Arianna Huffington – Fanatics and Fools | Review

Title: Fanatics and Fools

Author: Arianna Huffington

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 372

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Arianna Huffington - Fanatics and Fools

Arianna Huffington – Fanatics and Fools

 

I have mixed feelings about this book, and when I first started it I wasn’t enjoying it to the point at which I almost gave up on it. I was filming an unhaul video for my BookTube channel when I happened to notice that my copy of this was signed by Huffington herself. That made me think that I might as well keep it.

It’s basically a big long book about the 2004 presidential election, outlining Huffington’s theories on what a democratic candidate would need to successfully unseat George Bush. Obviously it didn’t quite turn out that way, but it’s strange because a lot of what she says about this new leader that they need could be describing Barack Obama.

Huffington also has an interesting take on things because she’s no stranger to politics. She ran against Arnold Schwarzenegger for the role of governor of California, and she has some interesting things to say about his brand of politics — and indeed of Republican politics in general.

 

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington

 

One of the main themes in this book is the way in which corporate America basically makes a mockery of democracy, with politics for sale to the highest bidder. Huffington clearly knows her stuff and I wouldn’t be surprised if she has a dossier on her computer to this day detailing all of the sleazy, sketchy stuff that politicians get up to, not just in America but around the world.

Sure, it’s sometimes a little slow going, and I did have to read this twenty pages at a time as my bedtime book, but I am still glad that I picked it up even if it’s out of date by now and no longer really relevant. I also found Huffington’s writing style a little abrasive to begin with just because of how sarcastic she can get, but after a while I was able to overcome it.

All in all, I liked what she had to say here and if she was running for office somewhere that meant I could vote for her, I probably would. And most of the policy ideas she shared were spot on.

 

Arianna Huffington Quote

Arianna Huffington Quote

 

Click here to buy Fanatics and Fools.