In his next book, Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell will explore the eternal battle between underdogs and front-runners.
Little Brown and Company announced this week that Gladwell's book will be titled David and Goliath
, and is scheduled to be released in 2013. The book is said to be somewhat inspired by his 2009 New Yorker article about a girls' basketball team
that defied the odds to reach the California state championship by innovating their defensive strategies.
"David's victory over Goliath, in the Biblical account, is held to be an anomaly. It was not," Gladwell wrote in the article. "Davids win all the time. The political scientist Ivan Arreguín-Toft recently looked at every war fought in the past two hundred years between strong and weak combatants. The Goliaths, he found, won in 71.5 per cent of the cases. That is a remarkable fact. Arreguín-Toft was analyzing conflicts in which one side was at least ten times as powerful--in terms of armed might and population--as its opponent, and even in those lopsided contests the underdog won almost a third of the time."
From political revolutionaries versus dictators to the poor versus the privileged, Gladwell will examine how underdogs throughout history have been able to triumph time and time again over opponents with much more power.
Gladwell's bestselling books, which include The Tipping Point
, have sold more than 4.5 million copies worldwide.This announcement got us thinking about underdogs, and how they've been a common theme in literature. What are your favourite underdog stories, in fiction or non-fiction? Let us know in the comments below.