Book Review: Outliers

Since summer started, I have had the opportunity to finally relax and catch up on my reading. One book that really stood out from the other books I recently read is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

The book is an analysis of why people achieve high levels of success, but it isn’t a book that tells readers what and what not to do in order to achieve the success. Outliers analyzes the stories of people such as famous Canadian hockey players and even Bill Gates. Malcolm Gladwell created a theory that the success of these people isn’t fully determined by talent, but by circumstance. He states that the cutoff birth date for admission to hockey leagues in Canadian schools actually helps determine which players will be the most likely to succeed. He even developed a theory proving how people such as Bill Gates achieved their success because of the years they were born in. The concepts in the book, such as these, are fascinating and surprisingly easy to understand.

One concept that was offered an extremely unique perspective was the idea that Eastern Asians are considered hard-working today because of their past. Malcolm Gladwell states that hundreds of years ago, when the Chinese depended on rice heavily, the hard work they put into the high-maintenence rice paddies created a culture where extremely persistant and diligent workers are appreciated an expected. This created a gap between European cultures and Eastern Asian cultures. This gap led to many different results, which are further explained in the book.

While this book may not be the average teen summer read, it is definitely worth trying. The concepts presented in the book really encourage readers to think twice about why many different events occur, so I highly recommend bringing this book wherever your summer takes you!

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