Get Your Free Audiobook

After 30 days, Audible is ₹199/mo. Cancel anytime.

OR

Best-selling author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell has written and narrated a compelling examination of power in his new-release audiobook David and Goliath. Using the classic biblical tale as an example, Gladwell highlights the reasons why it is possible for the small, feeble and unlikely people in the world to take on and quite often win against far bigger, stronger opponents. See the age-old struggle of power broken down to its core and understand far more as to why and how people succeed against all the odds. Available now from Audible.

Publisher's Summary

David and Goliath is the dazzling and provocative new book from Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw.

Why do underdogs succeed so much more than we expect? How do the weak outsmart the strong? In David and Goliath Malcolm Gladwell takes us on a scintillating and surprising journey through the hidden dynamics that shape the balance of power between the small and the mighty. From the conflicts in Northern Ireland and Vietnam, through the tactics of civil rights leaders and the problem of privilege, Gladwell demonstrates how we misunderstand the true meaning of advantage and disadvantage.

When does a traumatic childhood work in someone's favour? How can a disability leave someone better off? And do you really want your child to go to the best school he or she can get into? David and Goliath draws on the stories of remarkable underdogs, history, science, psychology and on Malcolm Gladwell's unparalleled ability to make the connections others miss. It's a brilliant, illuminating book that overturns conventional thinking about power and advantage.

Author, journalist, cultural commentator, and intellectual adventurer, Malcolm Gladwell was born in 1963 in England to a Jamaican mother and an English mathematician father. He grew up in Canada and graduated with a degree in history from the University of Toronto in 1984. From 1987 to 1996, he was a reporter for The Washington Post, first as a science writer and then as New York City bureau chief. Since 1996, he has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine.

His curiosity and breadth of interests are shown in New Yorker articles ranging over a wide array of subjects including early childhood development and the flu, not to mention hair dye, shopping and what it takes to be cool. His first book, The Tipping Point, captured the world's attention with its theory that a curiously small change can have unforeseen effects, and the phrase has become part of our language, used by writers, politicians and business people everywhere to describe cultural trends and strange phenomena. His other international best-selling books are Blink, which explores how a snap judgment can be far more effective than a cautious decision, and What the Dog Saw, a collection of his most provocative and entertaining New Yorker pieces.

©2013 Malcolm Gladwell (P)2013 Audible Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A global phenomenon... there is, it seems, no subject over which he cannot scatter some magic dust." ( Observer)

What listeners say about David and Goliath

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    86
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    64
  • 4 Stars
    26
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    56
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Worth listening

The reading and the writing was engaging. As always, case studies picked by Gladwell were relevant and interesting.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Gripping at the start ....

I liked the book as well as the narrator (he is always the best) but as like Malcolm's other books (e.g. The Outlines) he loses the point at the end ....maybe not from his own perspective but the reader may find him getting diverted from the topic at hand too often . But nevertheless it's worth reading/listening to. Good job Mr.Malcolm

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Okayish

Struggled a bit to finish the book. Had started well but beyond the first few chapters, I started to lose interest.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Gladwell done well

Again a informative book from the Malcolm. Deeply researched and presented. End could have been better and more effective.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Story of Giants and Dwarves

this book precisely explains the advantage of disadvantages and disadvantage of advantages.
How even a weak or smaller person could win over a situation if one will fight unconventionally.

How a skill learned out of necessity is more stronger than the skill one is born with.
How being big fish in a small pond rather than being smaller fish in a bigger pond shapes your career and future.
And how remote misses actually makes one stronger rather than being devastated by it.

All of these have been explained with real life examples and events.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the most beautifully Gladwell books

If you love the writing style of Malcolm Gladwell, then this is surely a must read !! I love this book as it is just another great by Malcolm.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

start is good. middle is boring. end's more boring

started good. but as story went by the trivial detail get boring. still give you a lesson and confidence.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing book

loved it, for it's relevance and relation to phenomenon in history. loved it also for the engaging narration

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting insights about perceived advantages

Was a great listen. Very interesting perspectives about what we perceive as advantages and disadvantages... Recommended 👍

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M
  • 14-06-20

Malcolm Gladwell shakes your notions

And you emerge wiser and more compassionate about life and humans on either side of any divide! A book for the times we live in

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Hellocat
  • 02-02-16

Gladwell loses his way, and I my respect for him

Malcolm Gladwell has been believing his own press for way too long. When he started out with The Tipping Point in 2000, he had a knack for making interesting observations that went against the grain of common knowledge. Each thesis he presented was carefully thought out and argued, and encouraged one to re-evaluate the subject at hand instead of proclaiming definitively that his was the one and only version of the truth.

With the passage of time he has become bolder. Each of his subsequent books have seemed more sure of itself than the last, as his arguments for his "findings" have grown thinner and thinner. Even before the arrival of David & Goliath, he was already fond making sweeping generalizations that would make a politician blush, all the while having little but his own opinions backing up those statements.

With David & Goliath, Gladwell seems to have almost given up not only on presenting properly conceived theses, but has abandoned even trying to formulate coherent conclusions. His anecdotes meander pointlessly for ages before concluding abruptly, not coming to any conclusions and not providing the listener with sufficient information to draw their own.

Worst of all, judgement has crept into his analyses. No longer does he objectively look at issues and how people perceive them, but tinges all his arguments with his own point of view. This is brought home in a bizarre fashion in the chapter on the three strikes law. Not only is this well-trodden ground - everything he talks about has been common knowledge almost since the law's inception - but he seems to have no aim but to rip apart the poor father who instigated the law with only the best of intentions. It's nothing but an exercise in character assassination, and his unbelievable conclusion seems to be only that the father should have "gotten over" his daughter's brutal murder instead of trying to make the world a better, safer place. The merits of the law's logic notwithstanding, it was a breathtakingly cringe-worthy experience hearing Gladwell so heartlessly stomp on this man's grief and how he coped with it. His method of coping was, by the way, nothing but positive and inspirational.

The book as a whole reads more like a drunken man in a bar shouting "now let me tell you something" rather than a well-conceived series of arguments about interesting topics.

Gladwell has become an almost unrecognizable parody of himself, and this will be the last book of his I purchase.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rahul
  • 02-12-13

Brilliant

What did you love best about David and Goliath?

Extremely intriguing and educating.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Very easy language.

Which scene was your favorite?

The bit where he explains the duel of David and Goliath and why David was always the favourite to win,

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The bit about hitting a level below what you would otherwise just squeeze into.

Any additional comments?

Great book in the most mesmerising voice of Gladwell himself.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 28-04-21

Out of the box, thin evidence, great storytelling.

Kia ora koutou,

I enjoyed David and Goliath, as a mix of fascinating anecodots the writer links together in support of his main premise: Underdogs, like David, are not always as weak as they appear, as disadvantages can lead to strengths, and the apparent strength of favourites, like Goliath, do not always produce the beneficial results expected. Gladwell argues that material resources, such as are at hand amongst big companies/nations and movements, can be misused. Conversely, he contends also that painful circumstances, oppression and a lack of CONVENTIONAL strengths can lead to the formation of the type of CHARACTER which leads ultimately to victory in ways more important than wealth, comfort or life.

In making these points he borrows from a diverse set of anecodots, such as the approaches of the Irish to the British in the Troubles, main figures in the American CRM in the 60s to racist leaders and David's response to Goliath - and much more.

In some ways the links between various stories was tenuous and lacked depth and evidence, but in other ways they were interesting and surprising.

I'd recommend giving this a read and considering how winning doesn't always look like more money, a bigger army or getting revenge. In fact, it can look like quite the opposite.

Nga mihi

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ellen Nel
  • 26-02-21

Not Your Usual MG

If you're a Gladwell fan like me, expect something different. Contrary to Outliers (which I found brilliant) , this book feels more like a collection of case studies so ideas are not as structured as in some other books but the book presents profound ideas and refers back to those ideas as it examines individual cases.

I thoroughly enjoyed this title and it was lighter than some of the other material I usually read; refreshing!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandy
  • 27-03-20

Great book and enjoyed listening to it

He book has a relatively simple message woven into many stories. It was great to listen to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • defjam
  • 11-01-20

Clear the decks, this one will grab your attention

Did all 7 hours in one day.. couldnt stop listening.. and I'm not a book person, but im going to start trying to be. Great captive voice the writer has as well. All the small intertwined and captive stories, has you thinking non stop.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-12-19

Well done Malcolm.

Another fantastic read. All the authors books have been wonderful, and well voiced too 😁

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lily Dash
  • 13-10-19

incredible I want buy all the gladwel books now

this is a wonderful work of art, for anyone dyslexic like me I think it's life changing.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. Bowker
  • 18-09-19

A great listen for its time.

The book is a great listen. it is interesting as it meanders throughout the storyline linking one price to the next and to previous chapters.
My only complaint would be that if you have listened to Revolutionist History, you may be disappointed by the delivery. The quotes and actual accounts are more impactful if made by the person saying them - which is the format Gladwell has developed in his newer work.
However, this should not detract from a great, thought-provoking book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 18-08-19

Inspirational

Love the book, took no effort to finish it. Food for thought. Can certainly recommend it.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ShabadooGMan
  • 13-10-13

Swing and a miss

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I wouldn't recommend this. I've been a fan of Gladwell's since Blink. While Outliers was over-long, there was plenty of interesting stuff in there. But David & Goliath smacks of contractual obligation. The upshot is that the underdog needs to think a little differently in order to topple Goliath. Well, thanks, Malcolm.

What was most disappointing about Malcolm Gladwell’s story?

I kept waiting for him to take the stories he was telling and explain how perhaps we could apply it to our own lives. He didn't really do this. It was essentially Jackanory, with Malcolm telling a few stories - about civil rights, about the troubles in Northern Ireland - with little point. As a listener, there was a lot of "And?"

What does Malcolm Gladwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Gladwell is a very good narrator. As is often the case with authors reading their own work, you can tell he really cares about his work. This certainly elevates it.

Was David and Goliath worth the listening time?

Ultimately, at seven hours, no, David & Goliath wasn't worth the reading time.

Any additional comments?

I'm still a fan of Gladwell and would check out his next work - he's an interesting voice. Let's hope this is just a rare misstep in an otherwise highly interesting and provocative career.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Fat Viking
  • 01-12-13

Rather too simplistic even for Gladwell

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Gladwell's continued cherry picking of selective 'evidence' in order to demonstrate a point without ever really testing any of the hypotheses he puts forward. The point was well made in the opening chapter when talking about the girls basketball team but went on a steady decline thereafter.'

What could Malcolm Gladwell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

See above. I know the simplification of popular psychology is his 'style' however too selective and too simple this time.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Malcolm Gladwell?

The narration was fine and where possible or practical I like to listen to an audio book narrated by the author. Gladwell does a fine job in this regard.

Do you think David and Goliath needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. I think the concept was exhausted in the first chapter.

Any additional comments?

Despite my comments above I enjoyed parts of the text and it passed the time on the walk to the station. That was until the chapter on the troubles in Northern Ireland. This chapter was a biased, poorly researched abomination that presents 'facts' in such a way that anyone reading this chapter who was ignorant of the facts of the troubles would be left with a very different impression of what actually happened during this time.

The following text from another online review makes the point far better than I could, so I have quoted it below."One might imagine, on the basis of Gladwell’s account, that the majority of the casualties of the Troubles were killed by British forces. In fact, around 60 percent of the more than 3,500 people killed between 1969 and 2001 were killed by Republican forces, 30 percent by Ulster loyalists, and 10 percent by British troops. Within this overall figure, British forces and local security services suffered more than 1,100 deaths. If the British were Goliath in this conflict, they suffered a good many wounds in its course.

Gladwell’s account does more than oversimplify. It is a kind of moral cartoon, a rendition of events in which there are no difficulties that cannot be overcome by reasonable men and women of goodwill. He tells us nothing of the lengthy and tortuous path that led to the relative peace that prevails in Northern Ireland today. If only he had been around to have a quiet word with British commanders, Gladwell seems to be suggesting, and share a few academic papers with them, none of the horrors that unfolded need ever have happened."

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dejavu
  • 05-12-19

It gets really dark

As you progress through the book it gets really dark.... stories are so graphic and horrific I had to fast forward certain bits not to traumatise myself... should come with a warning that it has a lot of description of violence and children suffering..
Other than that not bad! I wish he would make the book less dark...

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Glenda
  • 27-10-19

Good but becomes quite morbid

It begins fantastically and really captures your attention. However, by half way through, you realise that you need to work out why each comparable situation to the story of David and Goliath, ‘David’ won. There is a lot more story-telling than explanations and, especially, with no concluding chapter, it does make you think.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-03-18

Some valuable life lessons

Where does David and Goliath rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's up there with the rest of the books I have read and also with other Gladwell books that I have read.

What about Malcolm Gladwell’s performance did you like?

His performance adds huge value to the book. So well told.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me connect to many ideas I have heard elsewhere and helped me see them more clearly. I now employ ideas when coaching my clients.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin
  • 16-06-18

Very insightful.

Would recommend this book to anyone. Gave very good insights for people with seeming disadvantages.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-04-18

Another great Gladwell book

5 stars. Gladwell at his best. insightful and moving the author takes you on a great journey. 5 stars.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. S. Wade
  • 11-04-18

loved every minute

classic Malcolm Glad we'll full of great stories and cutting insights. highly recommended to all

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Book reader 42
  • 17-02-18

Incredible book

Great narrating by MG and one of the best books I came across this year.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LA
  • 01-01-18

Thoughtful and inspirational

A little of this was repetitive but the overall information was thought provoking and inspiring for those of us who are the ‘Davids’ of this world.

2 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-06-18

Typical Gladwell gold

As with all of Gladwell's books, he manages to take eye-opening, counter-intuitive scientific data, and weave it into a narrative that's so compelling you become totally absorbed in it.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any other author who is such a masterful story-teller that their non-fiction books feel like novels that you can get lost in. Every book he writes contains ground breaking insights and wisdom that can totally change the way you see the world, but his writing is so superb that sometimes you don't even realise you're learning.

His narration is also among the very best I've found, and after 2 years using audible I've heard many. I usually prefer books narrated by the author, because nobody understands the tone and inflection the writing is intended to convey better than they do. Having said that, not all authors are great speakers, and some can be... Lacklustre. Malcolm Gladwell is the polar opposite, he's an engaging speaker who captures your attention, and keeps it. I have ADHD and often find myself tuning out and having to skip back repeatedly, but Gladwell's narration is so engaging I can easily pay attention for hours at a time.

David and Goliath is also one of his better books, in my opinion. It may just be that the subject matter is more interesting to me than some others, but I would say "Blink" is the only Gladwell book that's made a bigger difference to how I think. Highly recommend!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • david s.
  • 10-11-19

Brilliant! Passionate, insightful, profound!

The writer's curiosity to solve the puzzles of the human condition is inspirational and a rip roaring read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • salma
  • 01-03-18

Gladwell does it again!

interesting, entertaining and challenging stories and ideas. I encourage you to listen to this book

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-10-17

Malcolm Gladwell knows how to weave amazing facts into stories and this is no exception!

This book puts strengths and weaknesses into perspective, it shows how you can turn an advantage into a disadvantage and a disadvantage into an advantage, a fantastic read!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas Metzner
  • 29-12-20

Pretty good book, preferred talking with strangers.

Pretty good book, preferred talking with strangers. The beginning was a bit slow but it really warmed up in the middle and end.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 31-07-20

outstanding

this book is outstanding from beginning to end - it was so good I finished it and went straight back to the beginning to start again - a must read !

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • RT
  • 21-07-20

Exquisite as always

As usual, Gladwell succeeds in stimulating the mind and opening up new perspectives on life and how we attempt to move trough it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • pmonte
  • 27-05-20

Inspiring and enlightening

From start to finish I was intrigued, challenged and encouraged by the incredible stories shared. Not only has my worldview been challenged but my approach to a challenge itself. I feel better off having digested this great book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 13-09-19

Thought Provoking

This was a really interesting book. I must admit it was not at all what I thought it was going to be but in the end, was probably one of the greatest story-telling books I have ever read or listen to. The stories that are told and the way in which they are told is absolutely magical.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Charles Gibbs
  • 01-09-19

Fantastic!

Gladwell is always excellent and this book is no exception! Loved every minute of it