What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures

What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures

Book - 2009
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What is the difference between choking and panicking? Why are there dozens of varieties of mustard-but only one variety of ketchup? What do football players teach us about how to hire teachers? What does hair dye tell us about the history of the 20th century?
In the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has written three books that have radically changed how we understand our world and ourselves: The Tipping Point ; Blink ; and Outliers. Now, in What the Dog Saw , he brings together, for the first time, the best of his writing from The New Yorker over the same period.
Here is the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill, and the dazzling inventions of the pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz. Gladwell sits with Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen, as he sells rotisserie ovens, and divines the secrets of Cesar Millan, the "dog whisperer" who can calm savage animals with the touch of his hand. He explores intelligence tests and ethnic profiling and "hindsight bias" and why it was that everyone in Silicon Valley once tripped over themselves to hire the same college graduate.
"Good writing," Gladwell says in his preface, "does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head." What the Dog Saw is yet another example of the buoyant spirit and unflagging curiosity that have made Malcolm Gladwell our most brilliant investigator of the hidden extraordinary.
ISBN: 9780316075848
Characteristics: xv, 410 pages ;,22 cm.


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From Cesar Millan to Enron, I was totally engaged. Malcolm Gladwell’s collection of great New Yorker essays distill a range of murky and intricate subjects with clear and simple writing. Absolutely recommended reading or listening. (submitted by TH)

Feb 14, 2017

I have enjoyed his books but do not find this interesting enough to hold my attention. I did not finish the book.

redban Aug 07, 2015

I've always found Gladwell's writing to be enjoyable to read, but I have to question his journalistic content.

Gladwell's content often resembles pop sociology/science at its worst, which is to say he takes complex events and forces out a simple, catchy explanation. He is at his worst when he talks about large-scale financial success stories (like in Outliers) given that he ignores how "business" is done on the larger scales (lobbying, predatory behaviors, Wall Street manipulations, etc.).

Thankfully for Gladwell, he does not focus on Economics, so he is not as bad as the clowns who brought us Freakanomics. I just have no patience for this kind of pseudo-investigative gibberish, it's not like we have a shortage of insightful journalists these days! (David Graeber, Matt Taibbi, Ben Goldacre, Chris Hedges, Naomi Klein, etc.)

bibliotechnocrat Aug 04, 2015

Unlike other material I've read by Gladwell, this is a collection of essays (previously published in the New Yorker) not organized around a central theme. As always, his thoughtful and engaging author's voice carries one to ideas that once seen, cannot be unseen. I particularly liked the essay on precocity - Picasso vs Cezanne - as it gives hope even to late bloomers like myself. Other outstanding pieces include one on criminal profiling and another on the collapse of Enron. Gladwell's storytelling gifts notwithstanding, his genius is in helping one question underlying assumptions.

amorina Mar 25, 2015

Investigative journalism anyone?

Yes deep beneath the surface there are very interesting stories.

A nice mix of Mr. Gladwell's early forays into investigative journalism which lead to his latter more thurough works.

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 20, 2014

Yet again Malcolm Gladwell sees everyday from a different perspective. Short essays talk about how the everyday things affect our daily life from hair dye to the birth control pill. His writing is witty and funny and gives us a look at what makes humans tick.

Jun 27, 2013

(Also available in eBook) A collection of Gladwell's Op-Ed articles of interesting topics with great insights. A great read as his other books like Outliers. From Wiki: What the Dog Saw is a compilation of 19 articles by Malcolm Gladwell that were originally published in The New Yorker which are categorized into three parts. The first part, Obsessives, Pioneers, and other varieties of Minor Genius, describes people who are very good at what they do, but are not necessarily well-known. Part two, Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses, describes the problems of prediction. This section covers problems such as intelligence failure, and the fall of Enron. The third section, Personality, Character, and Intelligence, discusses a wide variety of psychological and sociological topics ranging from the difference between early and late bloomers and criminal profiling

Feb 11, 2013

My first experience with Gladwell, and i very much enjoyed how each essay encouraged me to look at the topics from different points of view. I found myself having discussions about the topics of this book with my family, friends, and even strangers - definitely conversation starter material here! I'm excited to read more Gladwell!

Jan 08, 2012

This is a collection of Gladwell's writings from The New Yorker. Love Gladwell’s way of writing, but I need time to digest each article. I guess that is the beauty of his work with The New Yorker; you have time between each issue. My husband and I have had a lot of discussions about some of the topics such as homelessness, teaching, the “naturalness” of the birth control pill. So I got good mileage out of this book. One of the articles I thought was most interesting was the one on Nassim Nicholas Taleb who wrote The Black Swan which I read (or tried to read) earlier this year. What a great way to finally understand Taleb through Gladwell's writing!

jlazcan Nov 12, 2011

This is my least favorite of Gladwell's books. It is just a rehash of his past magazine articles from The New Yorker. There is some very interesting subjects covered in this book, but I could not shake the feeling that Gladwell released this book to monetize his current fame. One article is very interesting as it touches on cancer in women and theories of why it is on the increase in Western society. Overall I would not recommend this book as you can read all of the articles on-line.

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May 01, 2011

It was a textbook dog-biting case: unneutered, ill-trained, charged-up dogs with a history of aggression and an irresponsible owner somehow get loose and set upon a small child. The dogs had already passed through the animal bureaucracy of Ottawa, and the city could easily have prevented the second attack with the right kind of generalization - a generalization based not on breed but on the known and meaningful connection between dangerous dogs and negligent owners.

May 01, 2011

The kinds of dogs that kill people change over time, because the popularity of certain breeds changes over time. The one thing that doesn't change is the total number of the people killed by dogs. When we have more problems with pit bulls, it's not necessarily a sign that pit bulls are more dangerous than other dogs. It could just be a sign that pit bulls have become more numerous.

May 01, 2011

They were looking for people who had the talent to think ouside the box. It never occurred to them that, if everyone had to think outside the box, maybe it was the box that needed fixing.

May 01, 2011

One possibility is simply to hire and reward the smartest people. But the link between, say, IQ and job performance is distinctly underwhelming. . . . 'What IQ doesn't pick up is effectiveness at commonsense sorts of things, especially working with people,' Richard Wagner, a psychologist a Florida State University, says. 'In terms of how we evaluate schooling, everything is about working by yourself. If you work with someone else, it's called cheating. Once you get out in the real world, everything you do involves working with other people.'

May 01, 2011

in our zeal to correct what we believe to be the problems of the past, we end up creating new problems for the future.

May 01, 2011

Writing was the thing I ended up doing by default, for the simple reason that it took me forever to realize that writing could be a job. Jobs were things that were serious and daunting. Writing was fun.

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Bazooka_B9 Sep 27, 2011

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