Talking to Strangers
Books | Social Science / Sociology / Social Theory
Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Outliers, offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers and why they often go wrong—now with a new afterword by the author. A Best Book of the Year: The Financial Times, Bloomberg, Chicago Tribune, and Detroit Free Press How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to one another that isn’t true? Talking to Strangers is a classically Gladwellian intellectual adventure, a challenging and controversial excursion through history, psychology, and scandals taken straight from the news. He revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, the suicide of Sylvia Plath, the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal at Penn State University, and the death of Sandra Bland—throwing our understanding of these and other stories into doubt. Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world. In his first book since his #1 bestseller David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell has written a gripping guidebook for troubled times.
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"Another thought provoking book from Malcolm Gladwell that’s definitely worth a read or listen (he voices the audio book and tries to make it feel more like a podcast so it makes for a good listen). At times it’s fascinating, at others it feels like he is stretching the theme a bit to make things fit together, but overall it provides some great perspective and I highly recommend it. "
"“We have no choice but to talk to strangers, especially in our modern, borderless world. We are not living in villages anymore…Yet at this most necessary of tasks we are inept.” Insights about how we interact with others, using well-known current events (arguably not giving any one of them full analysis, just what’s needed to make his points) that provide great perspective and understanding. Another good one from Gladwell. "
"I really enjoyed this book for one major reason: the amount of deception, heuristics, and biases that every single one of us has is going to be a major factor in future generations of this country. We are now fully aware of how flawed our brains are and just how often we lie...to others and ourselves, every day. This book broaches that subject beautifully. If you like this kind of stuff, also check out Everybody Lies. "