Review: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

tipping pointThis book had been recommended to me by a work colleague, and then references to Gladwell’s works started popping up everywhere. I felt like I should probably be familiar with some of his writing in order to sound smart at work, so I added this book to my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge.

The Tipping Point is the study of why epidemics start. It can be a viral epidemic such as the eruption of AIDS in the 90s, or a crime epidemic. Or even fashion trends and how they start. Gladwell seeks to explain how epidemics can be started by a small number of well connected people, and fueled by others who are also highly influential in their social sphere. He gives many examples throughout as to the factors which caused the various epidemics to spread.

It’s an interesting read filled with many examples you will recognize: Airwalk shoes, Sesame Street, Blues Clues, the NYC Subway system, AIDS, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and much more. He reveals that one cause does not necessarily lead to the intended effect. It might be a number of causes that lead to the epidemic, something as simple as removing graffiti off the subway cars, for example, leading to a decrease in crime. It’s those fascinating little facts that make The TIpping Point compelling reading.

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