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.
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 each other that isn't true?
While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers, you'll hear the voices of people he interviewed--scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There's even a theme song - Janelle Monae's "Hell You Talmbout."
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.
A dazzling book . . . Gladwell is a rock star of nonfiction . . . Stories are well selected and brilliantly told, ideas are slowly revealed until the reader arrives at a conclusion they didn't expect. Gladwell is advancing ideas and, sure, they are all open to challenge . . . but they are stimulating and convincing - and you won't regret a minute you spend mastering them (The Times)
Superb writing. Masterful... bears all the marks that have made Gladwell one of the most successful non-fiction authors of his generation. (Pilita Clark Financial Times)
A wonderful provocation which Gladwell delivers like no other, an awakening to just one of the fascinations that lie in ordinary human experience . . . as ever, Gladwell's genius is in the telling. (Spectator)
Fascinating... you should read the book. Not only will it change the way you see and approach strangers, the precision with which he analyses the incident is one of the most powerful and damning indictments you'll read of race relations in American society. (Sathnam Sanghera The Times Magazine)
Taut, provocative, smart . . . Gladwell's cool, playful intelligence has made him one of our leading public thinkers (Ian Leslie)
Malcolm Gladwell made his name bringing intellectual sparkle to everyday subjects, and his new book - about how strangers talk to each other - is no exception. (Sean O’Hagan Observer)
Gladwell's new book looks set to cause another stir with its exploration of why ordinary human encounters sometimes end in catastrophes. (Radio Times)