The Current

Why Malcolm Gladwell thinks we have the story of David & Goliath all wrong

It is among the best known biblical battles. But if you ask Malcolm Gladwell, our understanding of David and Goliath needs a rethink. And he's offering one up in his latest book. He tells us why shortcomings trump advantage in the game of life....
In his book 'David and Goliath', Malcolm Gladwell argues that Davids aren't always underdogs - they can change the world. (Photo: Bill Wadman)

It is among the best known biblical battles. But if you ask Malcolm Gladwell, our understanding of David and Goliath needs a rethink. And he's offering one up in his latest book. He tells us why shortcomings trump advantage in the game of life.

David and Goliath has entered our language as a metaphor for improbable victories by some weak party over someone far stronger. Everything I thought I knew about that story turned out to be wrong. - Malcolm Gladwell, author of David and Goliath

Most of us are moved by stories of rags to riches, of overcoming disabilities, of personal triumph when many predicted failure.

However our guest Malcom Gladwell believes people have too rigid an idea of what it means to be disadvantaged. Poverty, small size, a learning disability ... all can be secret weapons.

Malcolm Gladwell turns the concept of the underdog around in his book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants. He spoke with Anna Maria Tremonti in October.

Share your thoughts on today's discussion.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien.

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