Interesting evening last night with the gathering chattering classes to hear Malcolm Gladwell about his new book Outliers. Particularly as I have spent a lot of time recently unpicking the alluring Tipping Point model that first made his name beyond the New Yorker magazine (nice but just not evidenced by the data). And he's all over the British press this week.
This is the third book tour I've heard him speak on so I've come to appreciate the gentle anecdotal style and narrative skills he brings to any subject. Lots of nice stuff throwing together plane crashes and cultural styles studies.
Can't help but think though that what he's really saying in this later book is that the idea of individuals achieve what they do independent of those around them – the heroic individual so beloved by Anglo Saxon culture and the US in particular – is wrong.
Which you heard here before, didn't you?