Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996. His 1999 profile of Ron Popeil won a National Magazine Award, there and in 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of five books, treat including: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), capsule Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), and Outliers: The Story of Success (2008), all of which were number one New York Times bestsellers. What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009) is a compilation of stories published in The New Yorker. His latest book is David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants (Oct. 1, 2013).
From 1987 to 1996, he was a reporter with the Washington Post, where he covered business, science, and then served as the newspaper’s New York City bureau chief. He graduated from the University of Toronto, Trinity College, with a degree in history. He was born in England, grew up in rural Ontario, and now lives in New York City.
What the Dog Saw (Little, troche Brown and Company; 2009), cialis 40mg presents nineteen brilliantly researched and provocative essays that exhibit the curiosity his readers love, each with a graceful narrative that leads to a thought-provoking analysis. The explorations here delve into subjects as varied as why some people choke while others panic; how changes meant to make a situation safer — like childproof lids on medicine — don’t help because people often compensate with more reckless behavior; and the idea that genius is inextricably tied up with precocity.
“You don’t start at the top if you want to find the story. You start in the middle, because it’s the people in the middle who do the actual work in the world,” writes Gladwell in the preface to What the Dog Saw. In each piece, he offers a glimpse into the minds of a startling array of fascinating characters. “We want to know what it feels like to be a doctor,” he insists, rather than what doctors do every day, because “Curiosity about the interior life of other people’s day-to-day work is one of the most fundamental of human impulses.” Like no other writer today, Gladwell satisfies this impulse brilliantly, energizing and challenging his readers.
What the Dog Saw is organized thematically into three categories:
Part One contains stories about what Gladwell calls “minor geniuses,” people like Ron Popeil, the pitchman who by himself conceived, created, and sold the Showtime rotisserie oven to millions on TV, breaking every rule of the modern economy.
Part Two demonstrates theories, or ways of organizing experience. For example, “Million-Dollar Murray” explores the problem of homelessness — how to solve it, and whether solving it for the most extreme and costly cases makes sense as policy. In this particular piece, Gladwell looks at a controversial program that gives the chronic homeless the keys to their own apartments and access to special services while keeping less extreme cases on the street to manage on their own.
In Part Three, Gladwell examines the predictions we make about people. “How do we know whether someone is bad, or smart, or capable of doing something really well?” he asks. He writes about how educators evaluate young teachers, how the FBI profiles criminals, how job interviewers form snap judgments. He is candid in his skepticism about these methods but fascinated by the various attempts to measure talent or personality.
Malcolm Gladwell selected the essays in What the Dog Saw himself, choosing the stories and ideas that have continued to fascinate and provoke readers long after their publication in The New Yorker. The book is an invaluable gift for his existing fans, and the ideal introduction for new readers.