Malcolm Gladwell

Canadian journalist and science writer

Malcolm Timothy Gladwell (born September 3, 1963) is an English-born Canadian journalist, bestselling author, and speaker. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996.

If you make a great number of predictions, the ones that were wrong will soon be forgotten, and the ones that turn out to be true will make you famous.

Quotes edit

  • The bottom line is that civil society simply cannot function without default to truth…I can’t converse with you, for instance, if I subject every statement that comes out of your mouth to critical scrutiny before I accept it as true. Conversation cannot proceed without default to truth.
  • The problems with framing it in terms of race is not that it is inaccurate, it absolutely is effective…but the minute you raise race, you derail the conversation and it becomes possible to dismiss this whole story as a story about a racist cop. Now he may be a racist cop, but that is not the issue, the issue is that the system with the best intentions set him up in a certain way.
  • You’re always, as a journalist, walking this fine line between faithfully representing the complexity of the thing you’re writing about and retaining your readers. The finest piece of journalism in the world is of no use if no one reads it. And getting people to read it requires compromises and sacrifices and all kinds of things. It is very hard to get it perfectly right. But I feel like over time, most good journalists, I think, do a pretty good job of balancing those things…
  • …You can’t separate race from police shooting cases, but you also can’t say that’s the whole story. There’s something out of whack with the way we’ve structured relationships—not just between police officers and civilians, but between strangers of all kinds.
  • It's those who lie outside ordinary experience who have the most to teach us.
    • Malcolm Gladwell (2008). Outliers: The Story of Success. p. 198
  • What do we tell our children? Haste makes waste. Look before you leap. Stop and think. Don't judge a book by its cover. We believe that we are always better off gathering as much information as possible and spending as much time as possible in deliberation.
    • Malcolm Gladwell, in Cheryl Glenn, et al Harbrace Essentials, Cengage Learning, 1 January 2011, p. 165
  • “Outlier” is a scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside normal experience. In the summer, in Paris, we expect most days to be somewhere between warm and very hot. But imagine if you had a day in the middle of August where the temperature fell below freezing. That day would be outlier. And while we have a very good understanding of why summer days in Paris are warm or hot, we know a good deal less about why a summer day in Paris might be freezing cold. In this book I’m interested in people who are outliers—in men and women who, for one reason or another, are so accomplished and so extraordinary and so outside of ordinary experience that they are as puzzling to the rest of us as a cold day in August.
    • Malcolm Gladwell (2010) in: "Q and A with Malcolm," at, quoted in: Kate Vitasek (2011). The Vested Outsourcing Manual, p. 364
  • The most influential thinker, in my life, has been the psychologist Richard Nisbett. He basically gave me my view of the world.
    • Malcolm Gladwell in: Pamela Paul (2014), By the Book: : Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review. p. 238

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